The Secret FIFA Farce

Fools Idiots Fuckwits and Arseholes. Pardon the language, but you know what I’m talking about. It was the most suitable acronym I could come up with at short notice. Needless to say I have a few thought about how this mornings vote for the 2018 and 2022 hosts went. I had previously, in the comments on one of my recent posts, queried the ethics of a secret vote.

FIFA has long been known to be a corrupt little club of tin pot dictators. This morning they added further evidence of that. The organisation doesn’t simply need to be cleansed, but closed and replaced with a more open, transparent and representative body. There should be more voters for a start. The Olympic hosts are chosen by a body of some 150 voters, not 24. Or 22, due to the suspension of two FIFA officials for corruption. And each person who has the privilege of casting a vote should be obliged to reveal who they voted for and why.

It has to be said, they may have voted for Russia and Qatar because they believed them to be the best bids. But we’ll never know if there was more to it than that, and have no way of investigating the matter. It could be found in future that a voter had received a dodgy payment, but without knowing which way he voted, there is no final proof. Only suggestive evidence. The fact the England’s bid finished fourth out of four is suggestive evidence in my opinion.

Were Russia and Qatar the best bids? From an environmental point of view, they were both, without any room for argument, the worst options. Not only does Russia need to build almost all their stadiums, but also airports. And the travel between venues is going to leave a high carbon footprint.

As for Qatar. I always thought that was a nasty bit of mucous you get in your nose and thoat when you are sick. But anyway, it turns out they are a country, and they also need to get busy stadium building. Indoor, air conditioned stadium building. The other thing both countries have in common? Corruption. They are arguably the two most corrupt nations of all the bidding entries. Russia has recently been labelled a ‘mafia state‘. It’s all coincidence, I’m sure.

I’ve had to look up info on Qatar, because beyond being aware that it lies somewhere in the Middle East, I know nothing of it. Wealthy they are. But small. A total population of just over one and a half million. The biggest city has less than a million people. The sixth biggest, less than 10,000. And they’ve been given a World Cup? What are they going to do with all the stadiums afterwards? Where’s the legacy? Ridiculous. Farcical.

Qatar, whilst being one of the more liberal Mid East states, still has the death penalty on its books, has a form of Shari’a law, supports Iran’s nuclear program, operates a legalised form of slavery and gay football fans might not be too keen on visiting – they may not leave for five years after the tournament has finished. But they do permit women to drive.

I don’t begrudge Russia winning the vote at all, although Qatar is another matter entirely. Everyone wants to host the World Cup, but only one country every four years can do so. I’m sure they will host a great tournament. What I do begrudge is the process. The corruption. The farce. FIFA.

I can choose to not pay a penny for anything that FIFA takes a cut of. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work. I couldn’t vote this morning. But I can vote tomorrow and every day after that. With my wallet. Except…when you look at this bid video from Russia of their stadia…you do kinda want to go.

The Qatari bid video seems to suggest that they need the World Cup because, quite frankly, their television reception is crap and the only way they’ll get to see a World Cup is by hosting one. I’m surprised their bid opponents didn’t mention that their nicest stadium is in fact a replica of Noah’s Ark from the Bible. That would have had the Qatari religious police pulling the plug on the project pretty quick, I’m sure!

The last point I will make is that my animosity is aimed at a handful of fools, idiots, fuckwits and arseholes. I’ll bet the ordinary people of Russia and Qatar are feeling over the moon right now, and are looking forward to their moment, just as I would have been. And I can’t begrudge them that. I’m sure both countries will put on a show, and Russia in particular is a country whose size and football passion deserves a World Cup.

 

 

 

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9 comments

  1. Here is the BBC Panorama program which helped cost England the chance to host the tournament. I hope if the claims are true, criminal proceedings are launched. But I somehow doubt that will happen.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    In the end, England got only 2 of the 22 votes. One of those was from FIFA’s vice president. Who is English.

  2. Yes, it was really sad to see this farce. And even if we have no way to prove that there was any corruption involved, knowing that the decision is in hands of people like Jack Warner, the Trinidadian President of CONCACAF, is enough to make an informed guess. This guy is known for:

    1) Making about $1 million usd reselling World Cup tickets (which is forbidden by FIFA “rules”.)
    2) Asking the Scottish Federation President for a check to be made out to him personally instead of to the Trinidad and Tobago Federation, after T&T visited Scotland for a friendly match.
    3) Denying T&T players their bonuses for playing the 2006 World Cup.

    You don’t need to know much more to know what happened. Honestly, Ulises Ruiz, the infamous former governor of Oaxaca, looks like a saint standing next to these crooks.

  3. Wat i dont get is why the Holland/Belgium bid gets 4 votes in the first round en than just two in the secound round. It seems logical that if you think they are the best in the first round you wouldn’t change your mind in the second round. Except if you want to make sure that england finishes last, which means it all pre-arranged.

    1. I’m not sure. Not least because I don’t know exactly what goes on behind closed doors. Are other voting members unaware of how others will vote until the first ballot results are revealed? If so, then those who voted for Holland in the first round may have decided that they were backing a lost cause, and voted for their second choice in round two instead. Which is logical.

      But because there is no transparency in the voting system, we’ll never know.

  4. I’m hoping the scandalous nature of the vote turns into a scandal at the doorstep of Fifa. Hopefully this will roll on some more. The more that is revealed, the more dodgy it looks. And it looked dodgy to start with.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/fifa-cannot-be-trusted-and-we-wont-try-again-says-the-fa-2150854.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/how-englands-bid-unravelled-in-24-hours-of-doubledealing-2150855.html

    A breakaway organisation anyone? I’d support it. Even if it meant a Non-Fifa World Cup of England, US, Australia and…who else feels screwed over by FIFA or has strong affiliations with breakaway teams? It’s all unlikely, but still…

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