A nation disappointed

Since the World Cup host for 2018 was handed to Russia earlier today, I’ve spent most of the hours since on Twitter immersed in a full-on inquisition into who was to blame for England’s failure?

Such is the arrogance of us as a nation, that no one is happy to accept Russia won the bid on merit – and whilst I appreciate how ridiculous it sounds to agree with the masses after that statement, I don’t either. You see, I could have accepted the World Cup going to Spain & Portugal over England as they already have the stadia and infrastructure to host such a prestigious competition. They’re also European and World champions and are as obsessed with the sport as we are.

Russia meanwhile is like being transported back to the 1980’s. Hooliganism is still commonplace and racism at football games remains a major problem. Not only that, but this is a country with a government constantly having to defend itself from allegations of corruption and links to the mafia. They are also the country least prepared to host a World Cup and require extensive development and investment to be ready on time for 2018 – a problem they have to deal with in the middle of a global recession!

I suppose the true nature of the World Cup is that it is supposed to leave a legacy of development and unity, and maybe it’s ignorant of us to assume that won’t be the case in Russia? Still, I find it extremely difficult to believe we’ll see any major progression as a result of the World Cup in Russia, but whatever the reasoning is behind their selection as hosts, it doesn’t answer the initial question of who is to blame for our own failure?

The fingers have been pointed at everyone from Sepp Blatter to Chelsea’s billionaire owner over the past few hours, but for me, the problem starts and ends with the Sunday Times and our countries insatiable appetite for gloom and scandal.

Amongst an endless list of moaning tweets from various journalists, was an absolute gem from The Times’ James Ducker who reminded us that Sepp Blatter is on Twitter and suggested we send our thoughts. Clearly this is a man who has never heard the advice given to those who live in glass houses!

The sheer irony of a journalist from The Times pointing fingers at Sepp Blatter for our failings was almost enough to send yours truly over the edge. To sit and type away in a patriotic manner when your own newspaper instigated the backlash that caused the biggest blow to England’s bid was a truly remarkable attempt to divert blame elsewhere!

I’m not suggesting there isn’t corruption in FIFA, nor am I suggesting the newspapers shouldn’t be looking to report such unforgivable acts of selflessness, but the consequences of their “sting operation” are what really cost us the World Cup – not a couple of dodgy executives who attempted to use their position for personal gain.

The actions of The Sunday Times was nothing short of entrapment, designed to fuel our nations obsession with gloom and scandal – we just don’t do good news! Rather than using their immense influence in a positive and patriotic way to aid England’s efforts in bringing the World Cup home, they chose instead to undermine the efforts of thousands of people across the country by setting a couple of FIFA executives up for an epic fall, which in turn, turned the rest of the committee against us.

Whilst the actions of those who chose to use their position for personal gain are indefensible, so too are those of the Sunday Times. These two executives only ever attempted to sell their votes because someone presented the opportunity to them. Without the Times involvement, we don’t know what could have happened. The chances are that no one else in the world would have had the audacity to approach committee members in an attempt to buy votes, and they may have even voted for England.

If this was a case of the Sunday Times catching them in the act, then that’s fair enough, but putting the knife in someone’s hand makes you just as guilty in my mind.

The consequences of The Times’ sting were easy enough to foresee, so if they really are as patriotic as James Ducker is now trying to make us believe, then why not wait until the vote was over to reveal such a devastating story? If the men involved were really as corrupt as The Times would like us to believe, then why not do some proper journalism and chase sources and paper trails to reveal a truth not manipulated by The Times themselves?

The answer is simple I suppose – it sells papers! While ever our appetite for scandal remains, the media will continue to artificially engineer it for us.

65 Responses

  1. Colin

    I don’t believe that the Sunday Times or Panorama cost us the World Cup. I don’t think we ever had a chance. If it did put off some of the board members voting for England, then I would have thought those votes would have gone to Holland/Belgium or Spain/Portugal, but Russia won hands down and I think they would have won no matter what. And I think this is further proven by choosing Qatar for 2022.

    England get 2 votes, and one of them from England. That’s awful.

    • stotty

      The Sunday Times and the BBC have exposed SOME of what we all knew and at least as a country we had the guts to publicise it. Just wait until the investigative jouralists really get their teeth into FIFA and UEFA. Blatter and Platini are as anti British as you will find. A couple of miserable dishonest europeans just like the rabble running the EEC, so we never had a chance and don’t forget the hand of Amramovitch in all of this. The fallout over the coming months may bring them down. I think your TSS assessment is wrong and out of order on this occasion.

  2. Matt BB

    the world cup is no longer about football, its about bungs, junkets and the event going to the highest bidder. surely if FSF had tgrown in some of their ££££bns we’d have walked it.. i jest. but a crime ridden madia run dirthole winning over us holland or spain shows what a farce it has become. the crooks who run fifa didnt like being rumbled by the press. so keep digging..

  3. HS

    Whilst I’m as disappointed as the next person that the 2018 World Cup didn’t go to England I don’t think neither Panorama nor The Times cost England the World Cup. Like Colin I don’t really think England were ever a serious contender.

    For all their failings there is one area where FIFA seem to be true to their word; that a World Cup must leave a lasting legacy. That legacy can be in the form of new stadiums, bringing the game to people who previously had little or no access to the game, or improvements to the game at grass root level. Let’s face it, England doesn’t really tick any of those boxes. A World Cup here is not going to make the game any more popular than it already is, and is not going to give lots more people better access to facilities than they already have.

    Exactly can be said about the Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium bids for that matter, which then just leaves Russia. TSS may well be right when saying that the state of Russian football is practically stuck in the dark ages, and that politically it may not exactly be the perfect model of a democratic stage. One must assume that FIFA sees the 2018 World Cup as an opportunity to help lift Russian football out of the mire, and at the same time compete with for the public’s attention with other popular sports in the country.

    Perhaps the one thing that surprised me a bit is that Holland/Belgium didn’t edge ahead of Spain/Portugal. At least Holland/Belgium tried to offer something with their green bid. England and Spain/Portugal only offered more of the same.


  4. Dje

    I can appreciate that a lot of England fans will be disappointed – more so as our next chance to host the World Cup will be in 2030, and so a fair few of us will be dead, but when their is only one competition every four years, it has to traverse all the continents – not just meander back and forwards between South America and Europe – and be up against two other strong bids in Russia and Portugal & Spain (God knows how Belgium beat us!), it was always going to be an outside chance of us getting it.

    Despite the disappointment, I have to say that I’m quite looking forward to the World Cup being in Russia now. Hooliganism, racism, cyrillic letters, dissident Islamic terrorist campaigns and the subsequent heavy-handed and equally destructive Russian responses, Putin’s new ‘Five Year Plan’ of Football Constructivism, and countless Mafioso abductions of what Roy Keane would consider ‘prawn sandwich’ global fans and high-ranked FIFA officials. It’ll definitely be an event even if the football is as shit as the last World Cup.

    Besides, considering Portugal and Spain (and probably us too) are likely to hit the next ‘bailout’ bar, can they really justify taking on a World Cup? At least Russia is doing pretty well despite the recession.

    After then there’s the Castle-in-the-Sand Qatar delight to look forward too in 2022. Much better than the Yanks or Aussies giving it a go, IMHO.

  5. Dje

    On a separate note. Now the World Cup isn’t coming to England, is this one less reason for Bates to hang around at LUFC once we get promoted to the Premiership and he can cash in his chips?

  6. Jason Hardcastle

    Truly gutted about not being able to see the world cup come to England in 2018 but I agree with the general thoughts on here that we were never real contenders. Footballing wise it was between England and Spain/Portugal but as we all know its not about football its about who your friends are and Russia obviously have the power there (and plus nobody likes England ). They also as said above have a legacy to lead and England as the others offered little on the legacy plate. Overall Russia was probably the right choice but as everyone else am gutted the world cups not coming home

  7. Gryff

    @colin the hydrochloric acid in the wound is that the other vote came from the chap who wanted to spit on a BBC journalist for outing his corruption! There’s nothing more painful than the worst sinner in town acting so sanctimoniously… It reminds me rather of Pecksniff in Dickens’ ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’!

    I was quite relieved that Russia received the World Cup. On the one hand, everybody with even vague intelligence knew that Russia was a ‘virtual mafia state’, headed by a former KGB kingpin. Racism is indeed rife in Russian football, and it is easy to point to the handful of billionaires, and masses of malnourished men and women. But at the same time, Russian football has some potential while the building of numerous stadia at the government’s expense and the interest in pushing grassroots football in Russia will help football, if (and though probably) not the country in general.

    The Netherlands/Belgium would have been a joke. All they had to offer, Britain could offer better. While Spain and Portugal have only recently hosted tournaments. Then there is that possibility that the Russians will begin infighting, hire hitmen (as they often do) and kill someone connected to football and FIFA officials will go ‘hmm, maybe there IS something to this honest, open society’! :-)

    Slightly more seriously, though, I was amazed at Qatar being awarded the World Cup. non-European World Cups looked uninspired with only Korea or Japan (who have already hosted the competition recently) looking even vaguely interesting to me. America would have been alright, but was so big it would have lacked atmosphere. But instead, we have gone to a country so small it’s about the size of greater Leeds (a MASSIVE legacy to leave here, clearly!), is purportedly to use carbon-cooling technology to cool the crowds at the events which hasn’t even been invented yet, and which has a culture that has anti-homosexuality, anti-women and anti-alcohol ingrained in its culture. Yes, perhaps the former two embody football rather well (unfortunately), but as Oliver Bierhoff diplomatically put it: ‘…Aber ich finde natürlich generell die Stimmung im Land, wo die WM stattfindet, auch sehr wichtig. Insofern betrachte ich Katar nicht als optimale Lösung’ (That is: ‘however I find naturally that the general mood of the country where the WC is held, is also very important. In this case, Qatar is not the optimal solution’).

    I know families that will visit Egypt and queue for hours at the Israeli border every evening for a decent tipple, despite alcohol not being technically illegal in Egypt. Where must such people go in 2022?

  8. Ron

    No need to point fingers of blame. The World Cup, like everything else now in life is about money. The greatest example today is Qatar winning in 2022. If you dropped to earth from a spaceship into the desert and someone told you humans host their largest sporting events in the heat of the desert, you’d piss yourself laughing. It truly is beggar’s belief. As an Australian, it is a sad day for obvious reasons and I truly wanted to watch the world cup in England in 2018. A sorry day for all honest nations. Prepare for countless bribery allegations leading into the Russian cup and camels invading the pitch for 2022. I feel like crying…….

    • Colin

      the reason the martian men have come in their spaceship is because they’ve got a serious chance of getting the 2026 bid.

      Let’s face it, FIFA like to take the world cup to new places to expand the game.

      Mars United. The human world invited.

  9. Ilkleywhite

    I work in civil engineering and I honestly don’t think Russia will be able to complete its stadiums in time, the amount of corruption that goes on there is unbelievable, whatever the cost on paper, the Russian government will have to find 10 times as much, I kid you not

    I cannot for the life of me see the infrastructure being in place in 8 years time, it took them 10 years to build a tube station there, everyone wants their cut, the architect, the developers even the workforce, they will all have their snouts in the gravy boat, and believe me as the time approaches, they wont even have half the stadium built and the transport infrastructure will be non existent.

  10. Colin

    @gryff so the spitster voted for england? Which country is he? Is that confirmed as I though the rumour was that the other voter was Japan?

    On Qatar, they just happen to be the richest country per person per capita in the world and they also don’t recognise Israel as a country, which should be interesting if they qualify.

    Anybody fancy travelling 3,200 miles to Qatar to watch a football match when it’s 40 degrees outside and you can’t get a beer? No, didn’t think so.

    Still, it’s not far from Iran and Iraq, so those guys should be able to come over and have a whale of a time.

    • Dje


      Can the World Cup possibly step outside of its comfort zone of corporatism, drink, hooliganism and the same triumvirate of teams winning it each time for just one occasion? Well, there’ll be the same sort of corporatism and un-fan fans being at the stadium, but there’s a fleeting chance the other three might get the boot for once.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the holy trinity of World Cups / Drink / Hooliganism – solely as it makes great TV – but we’ve got ‘Russia 2018′ for that, ‘Qatar 2022′ is the hangover.

      • Colin

        @djedjedje FIFA might have to find a new sponsor to replace Budweiser!!

  11. Charlie Big Potatoes

    Qatar 2022?….The comedy relief of the afternoon! F’sake lol…

  12. Chareose

    For me the world cup needed to go to a country that can reinvigorate a flagging concept…. South Africa was diabolical….most of the countries were completely demotivated.
    It may be arrogance but i doubt that would have been the case under the watchful passionate and knowledgable eyes of fans in both Spain or England. Players dont seem to be embracing internationalism as much as they used to or take the level of pride that say Psycho Pierce and co used to in representing their countries…. Cold Syberian uninterested Russia was not the answer and neither is Quatar…..

  13. Andrew Claridge

    This was already decided you only need to look at 3 two points
    1. Abramovich (Russian) has not spent any money at Chelsea.
    2. No one of any real interest went to the world cup draw from Russia.
    3. We have the Olympics, no way are we going to allowed 2 major sporting events in 10 years
    Russia new they had it the bag.

  14. Dje

    I’ve just realized that France has got the European Championship in 2016. I bet the English are kicking themselves that they didn’t go in for that instead of the ‘dead in the water’ 2018 bid. Personally, I reckon England, Belgium&Holland, or Portugal&Spain would have been no different from a European Championship. At least Russia has some psychosis and brutalism so as to at offer some ‘exoticism’.

  15. Matt BB

    for me even china would have been more credible.. huge interest in soccer plenty of cash to build stadia. qatar as rightly stated is a tiny country, a uae bid with dubai as centrepiece would be brilliant. i foresee tough times for supporters going to russia and qatar. both inordinately expensive and not very welcoming to outsiders.

  16. henry vincent lewis

    FIFA were always going to stuff us!
    Well stuff them.
    Forget it!
    It is nearly Saturday!!

  17. les irwin

    the simple fact is that we didn,t have a chance once russia entered the race the bbc and newspapers didnt help it seams blatter mentioned the evils of the media before the vote ??????? .the big thing for mr was that blatter mentioned that footballs home is england so why isn’t it lets bring football home .we could easily attract teams national teams to a major tournament run every few years in this country forget the world cup .the european championships we could bring football back to england i bet we could easily get the top 16 ranked teams in the world to a tournament in the uk , sepp blatter is easily the most corrupt man in world sport he needs investigating and prosecuting if anything is found ,the tedious little man walks around the world as if he is in charge of a super power he is a little shit and should be eliminated

  18. KohSamuiWhites

    The Russian government/mafia,same entity bought the world cup months ago.To be fair i thought the Russians did well to act so pleasantly surprised when they knew the result was done and dusted.FIFA is a disgrace of an organization,corrupt to it,s core. Here,s hoping our famous zest for investigative journalism gets to the bottom of this cesspool of bribes and backhanders.I,ve worked and traveled in Russia and it,s a terribly venue to host a world cup,full of racist joyless thugs,England will never win a world cup bid,we,re not corrupt enough,another sad day for football.Still it,s a backhanded compliment that the rest of the footballing world still hates us enough not to award the tournament to the best bid.I wonder what the going rate for a vote was?

  19. Dje


    Altohough I’ve moaned about the recent World Cups being not as good as they used to be, they are still the greatest sporting highlight in the world, IMHO. The reason for this is probably because they are only ever four year (hence the heartbreak/bewilderment that we now have to wait until 2030 before we can compete against Portugal&Spain, Belgium&Holland, and no doubt, Italy, France and Germany too (I seriously think the next time we will get it is in 2066); national teams like England don’t always qualify (making it more special when we do), and other teams like Scotland never qualify, so they get wonder ‘what if…’ each time; and because 26 out of the 32 teams that finally take part each time genuinely think ‘they have a chance’ of winning it.

    So, sorry, not interested in a breakaway ‘TOP 16 Ranked Team Kick-About’, the Italians, Brazilians and Germans would take it in turns to win it and it would be as dire and predictably dull as the Premiership is.

    I’m not sure if he is corrupt or not, but I actually quite like Sepp Blatter. I reckon he genuinely believes that football can unite the world (the fool!) and end poverty (double the fool!).

    And while we are here, I’ve never voted Tory in my life, so I can;t really believe I’m saying this, but I reckon David Cameron should get a lot of kudos for his involvement. He wont, but he should. Rare thing these days to see a politician lay their neck on the line for a verdict that is essentially completely in the hands of others. Sure, there was a lot of political capital to be garnered if England had won, but his spin doctors were all warning him to stay well clear of it and leave it to his Sport Minister as it was always likely to end in tears.

    • les irwin

      i know what you mean but lets be right for players now the champions league in europe is king .as for teams taking it in turns to win a breakaway cup aint that what happens now its the usual suspects now of 32 teams in a world cup at best pre tournament only 8 have a realistic chance to win it ,due to the regionalisation of the qualifying only 8 or 9 of the worlds best teams really get in ,if its a world cup lets have world qualifying groups so ENGLAND COULD GET BRAZIL IN THE QUALIFYERS INSTEAD OF ALGERIA the last world cup was the worst ever if for nothing else the vuvu fucking zela .when countries are building million pounds worth of stadiums a stones throw away from people living in plastic bag tents its wrong stadiums which will never be used again
      the world cup isnt the worlds greatest tournament anymore in real terms because its only every 4 years the biggest cup is champions league ask any player FIFA HAS NO CREDIBILITY

      • Dje

        @ number1inyorkshire

        The World Cup is still the WORLD’s greatest tournament, the Champion’s League is the biggest cup in EUROPE. There is a difference there.

        I quite like the idea of the World Cup having pre-group stage qualifiers held at the World Cup – so in theory 64, or even the full 128 world national teams go out to the World Cup and then dwindle down to 64 then 32 etc. I seriously doubt it would involve (or rather should) involve anymore participants than you get at Olympic games.

        You could do away with the whole ‘qualifying matches’ that seem to get in the way of domestic leagues so much and have the pre-group matches at the World Cup as a half-way house between international friendlies and warm-up matches. So England could be in a qualifying group (pre-World Cup ‘Last 32′) of say, El Salvador, the Cook Islands, and Malaysia.

        This way you could probably do a World Cup every other year, possibly with the European Championship adopting a similar set up and opting to host their competition every two years when the World Cup doesn’t take place.

        As this would involve so many matches and require so many venues (no more than say the first round of the F.A. Cup though), I’d make them play in lesser stadia where the emphasis is less about money revenue, or advertising, or hooliganism, but more about the ‘once in the life time’ experience of visiting that host nation, and more importantly that host nation having actual access to the matches. So if it was in England, you get matches at Scunthorpe, Bradford and Carlisle in then earlier stages.

  20. timm

    @TSS ‘These 2 executives only attempted to sell their votes because someone presented the opportunity to them’!!! That’s like saying ‘this bloke only snorted coke because someone offered it to him’! FIFA’s rotten to the core, & it & Russia deserve each other. THe World Cup is pathetic as a spectacle & i personally would rather watch The Championship. Don’t blame the media.Investigative journalists have a duty to flush out corruption in all walks of life. These 2 dodgy bastards could easily have said no. You sound like you’re defending the indefensable? The fact is we’re just not well liked. The World Cup draw is football Eurovision when it comes to England/GB. Fuck em!

    • TSS


      That’s a good example actually Timm. Do you stop the individual snorting coke, or do you stop the distribution and manufacturing of it? People DO only snort coke because it’s made available to them.

      • timm

        But where’s your defense TSS?Surely you understand that It’s just as easy to say no as it is to say yes? We live in a country where thousands of people died for us to have the right to free speech. Did you see the criteria which had to be met in order to stand a chance?
        ‘Countries must have a sound infrastructure’. Russia is Mafia run, & investigative journalists are murdered on a regular basis.
        ‘Countries should be working hard to remove homophobia & racism from society’ Well I think this one really takes the biscuit don’t you? They give it to Russia, which still enjoys a nice bit of monkey chanting & banana lobbing! & they give it to Qatar,which outlaws homosexuality! If a respected FIFA official has a problem with the free press exposing corruption at this level,then it is they who should be looking at themselves, not the BBC & written press.

      • TSS


        I’m not saying that the FIFA execs accepting is excusable. I just don’t like the way they were set up in the first place. They could have gone their entire careers without ever being approached by anyone attempting to bribe them – we just don’t know that!

        The BBC did legitimate investigative journalism by chasing paper trails and uncovering corruption a decade ago – reporting that is highly respectable and necessary. Artificially creating a situation where you line someone up for a fall is an entirely different matter. There’s a good reason why most free countries make it illegal for their police officers to trap people in this way – because studies show people are self-serving and that the majority of us would take the easy money to make a decision that has absolutely no effect on us personally. There’s also the on-the-spot aspect to consider too. Telling someone you’ll do something face-to-face doesn’t mean you won’t have a change of heart and report it later. A lot of people have an extremely hard time saying no to anything in such situations. It’s entirely unethical, the evidence is artificially created and the media are an absolutely disgraceful for using such tactics to intentionally undermine our bid.

        It doesn’t matter how you try and defend and rationalise what the Mail did, they went out with the sole intention of putting people in an intense situation where they could “prove” corruption. If corruption was so common in FIFA, why did they not do what the BBC did and chase paper-trails and leads? Because they wanted a shock value in that very instant at the height of interest in the World Cup.

  21. Gryff

    @TSS I stand corrected! :)

    @djedjedje corporatism (or perhaps more accurately raw money) is at the heart of the Qatar World Cup in my opinion. There are many filthy-rich Arabs who have made $billions by extorting the West in the oil markets for decades (part of the reason for our latest fiasco in foreign affairs in 2003) and FIFA thinks that it would be nicer if F1 & Al Qaeda weren’t the only receivers of said billionaires’ loose change.

    @colin the comment on the spitster is based on a live-update on either the Grauniad, Telegraph or BBC website. Not sure which though and it wasn’t official.

    @Andrew Claridge my experience is that the World Cup will often follow the Olympics because to host one, a nation requires certain infrastructure that almost certainly will exist for the other: Rio 2016/Brazil 2014; Atlanta 1996/USA 1994; Barcelona 1992/Spain 1982. England 2018/London 2012 wouldn’t have been so unusual!

    @Ilkleywhite I hope you’re right! That said, Russia could spend $Trillions if it was a case of national pride, rather than something to benefit its citizens. We all know how bad their oligarchs’ “little man syndrome” is!

    BTW, rather than most of the vindictive American press, AOL has had a good objective look at the situation:

  22. Dje


    Yes raw money, true. Backhanders no doubt as well. There are few countries in the world that play anything by the ‘rules’ and for better or often worse, we seem to be one of them. So we can tae the moral high ground and look on from a far at the celebrating hosts, Russia and Qatar.

    What I actually thought was more interesting about the Qatar bid – beyond the lack of drink and easy women and homophobia – was that they will deconstruct 5 of the 8 stadiums and then ship them off and reconstruct them in third world countries that couldn’t afford national stadia. No doubt this was a seductive ploy to garner votes (from self-interested third world voters, and sentimental first world voters), but I think at least it offers some hope for all those nations out there that will never host the World Cup because they simply don’t need eight 40000+ stadiums in their countries.

    Actually, I’d ban all the corporate ‘freebie’ tickets (estimated to be a fifth of all tickets at the 2010 World Cup), and the mass allocation to international F.A.’s (again, another fifth of all tickets at 2010 South Africa) and say that whoever hosts it doesn’t need eight 40000+ stadiums, and say the emphasis is on how welcoming, and original your invitation is. The 2030 World Cup in bankrupt Iceland, anyone?

    Or Figi?

  23. Paul Cranswick

    2018 – The Russian bid succeeded despite obvious reservations and I for one, despite selfish disappointment, can see the merit in it being so. For me: Joint bidders should be disqualified if a single bid is deemed qualified by FIFA’s assessment committe to participate. Countries that pass this assessment should automatically take precedence over bidding nations that have been honoured to host the competition earlier – hence the merit in Russia’s bid – by my elimination process it would have been the last one standing.
    2022 – Would therefore have been between Qatar and Australia. Personally I would have gone for the Aussies but at least Qatar now can show that countries smaller in land area, population and footballing tradition can win the right to host.

  24. Mike

    There are a lot of long winded posts here but to me it is crystal clear that the winners bought there votes.
    Hope I live long enough to see the utter shambles that these two events will create.
    Russia stretches from Europe to China!!!!!
    All your time will be spent travelling.
    Qatar is the size of greater Leeds and anyway you will not get a pie or a pint so where’s the pleasure, especially when the temp can go to 50C.
    It’s a joke, let’s all laugh at FIFA.

  25. airforce5

    Brilliant post. The Sunday Times and BBC are a disgrace. By selling stories for commercial benefit they are every bit as corrupt as the best of them, yet they hide behind ‘freedom of press’. Bullshit. These stories were not in the public interest. The media are messing this country up. Lets hope this brings some realisation and brings change. Imagine any other country reporting such a thing… even our own National treasure the BBC shot us in the foot? What was that about?

    The World Cups about Unity; hundreds of people working their balls off to represent the people and a handful drag it all down. Fair play Russia, and Qatar. We’ll be watching with envy and moaning about it… fill your boots lads.

    • timm

      @airforce5 So you’d rather the BBC either ignored it or waited a week or 2 then? How would it have looked if they’d aired Panorama a week after England had missed out? Sour grapes perhaps? As long as the story is true (which it was) then the press & media have a duty to report it. Blatter & Russia deserve each other. It was always going to be about taking the cash cow into new territories,so let’s not be fooling ourselves by pretending it was ever going to be anything else.

      • TSS

        @airforce5 @timm

        Just to be clear – I don’t have a problem with the BBC.

        The BBC can’t be compared to the Mail. The Mail set out with the objective of creating corruption, whilst the BBC did some proper investigative journalism and uncovered something that had already happened many years ago. They also only reported what was already common interest, which is part of their job.

      • airforce5

        Regardless of whether we had a chance of being nominated or not, to think the media, including the BBC’s intervention, hasn’t had a negative impact on our bid is crazy. Our bid was on a hiding to nothing as soon as they stitched up Triesman.

      • timm

        ‘Creating corruption’ Come on TSS! The only way you create corruption is by saying yes! These people are in a position which commands integrity. The ones offering the bribe are no more than glorified secret shoppers. I have a friend who works in a Land Rover dealership. They are regularly visited by ‘customers’ who turn out to be secretly working for Land Rover & who are there to see that they meet the standard required of the company. If they slip up they get bollocked! Entrapment? Or just ensuring standards are maintained?

      • TSS

        I refer you to my earlier reply. You can not use such evidence against people, because without money actually changing hands you can’t determine whether it ever would have. Whether they’d change their mind and report it later. Or whether they felt uncomfortable saying no in that situation – after all, they were dealing with someone happy to bribe them. They must be wondering what else they were capable of?

        You could do this exact same thing with people on any committee in the word and you would always get a majority who would agree to take the bribe. That’s why entrapment is illegal. Because studies show people are highly agreeable in these situations and may not do the right thing until they’ve had time to reflect and are out of the initial situation where they feel pressured and uncomfortable.

        I ask again – if corruption was so common in FIFA, why didn’t they uncover some from the past? It’s because they didn’t care. They knew the situation they set up would always get results and that they could sell papers off the back of it the next day. This is human psychology Timm, people are agreeable in these situations. It’s why entrapment is not accepted legally.

        Whichever you cut it, the Mail started out with the sole aim of creating a scandal. That’s all they cared about. They didn’t uncover a scandal, or prevent anything. They created it themselves.

      • timm

        @TSS But even taking all these psychological factors into account, do you honestly stand by your comment that ‘the consequences of their sting operation are what really cost us the world cup’? And also,the 2 officials who took the money had ample opportunity to report it to the relevent authorities,but they chose not to! I somehow doubt that the 2 individuals were just pulled out of a hat? I suspect a good amount of information led the journalists involved to put these 2 to the test. This result has been in the bag for ages, & I’m sure that people like Abromovich won’t be far from the centre of it. We (the whole of the UK) should feel proud that no country in the world has done as much as we have to clean up the game, from racial chanting to corruption,& if that’s not good enough for FIFA,then that’s their problem.

      • TSS

        @timm I disagree that they acted on information. You could do this anywhere in the world, with any two people and 9 times out of 10 you’d get the same result. People are not only self-serving, but also very agreeable in such situations.

        I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome and there’s definitely good reason to re-think FIFA’s process, but we’ll never know what might have happened? I just can’t forgive the Sunday Mail for intentionally trying to create scandal. The BBC is an entirely different matter, and whilst the timing wasn’t ideal, they were right to report on it. But the SM simply set people up, knowing it would have an adverse effect on our bid, just because they wanted to create a scandal. Then they had the cheek to try and divert blame afterwards!

  26. Mike

    @Paul Cranswick
    There’s always one int there?
    Bet your a public servant, and politically correct as well.

  27. Mark R

    2022 World Cup in Qatar ??
    They don’t have 11 players and I believe it’s jumper’s for goalposts …..no wait a minute … they don’t have jumpers in Qatar …. so don’t think they even play with goalposts.

    Why not a Scarborough & Bridlington joint bid for 2026 ?

    As I said on another post , if a country with no football history, with a population of 1.6million can be awarded the World Cup, then I’m backing Yorshire’s bid for 2026. Six million or so population, a rich football history & culture, infrastructure in place.

    Yorkshire for 2026….BACK THE BID
    ( 2nd Choice : Scarborough & Bridlington )


  28. leeds_lad

    The only consolation is that Pappa Smurf dosen’t make more personal profit from a “free development” of Elland Road, as usual, at someone else’ expense. Maybe now he will look to “bail out” and leave the club to someone who cares, and is prepared to use some of their own finances of funding for investments…….. In fact he could be perfect for a job at FIFA, experienced in underhand dealings, empire building, and an expert at bending the truth.

  29. Ed Potter

    TSS – I think you bought the smokescreen. FIFA delegates sell their votes to the highest bidder. It’s the world we live in. If you can buy a politician why not an FIFA delegate. I hope the British newspapers set their wolfpack on FIFA and expose it’s rotten core.

    Also why do you think they held two bids at the same time. So Blatter could pick up two bungs before he retires. Whom ever replaces him will have to wait 8 years to get a World Cup bung. It’s laughable.

  30. Colin

    I notice the FA is still being a bit quiet on the bid failure and I think I know why. I think England has to be a bit careful herself when it comes to pointing the finger at money changing hands. If Panorama/Sunday Times can do an investigation into FIFA corruption, it could also look into the setup in The FA/Premier League/Football League.

    Are we squeaky clean? We know first hand of strange incidents taking place – whether it be the Leeds takeover or the draconian -15 and subsequent -10 point deduction that wasn’t written in any any rule book. We’ve had slightly dubious characters buy their way into English football, and less than reputable owners taking ownership of English clubs.

    I’m not saying English football is corrupt, but a lot of money does change hands and we’re not entirely sure just how much.

    And it’s not just FIFA but other sports that have some strange decision making as well – F1, Cricket anyone??

  31. Colin

    Why did England lose the bid? Why do we always lose at Eurovision? Why have my gas bills gone up despite a drop in wholesale gas prices over the last 2 years? Why have we bailed out the banks, yet allow other businesses to go to the wall? In the first moon landing, why was the American flag waving if there is no air on the moon?

    Hmmm, the world’s gone mad.

  32. Craig

    I agree with your comments on the media TSS. We have a honourable tradition of high quality investigative journalism in this country but in recent years it has utterly sold itself down the river that is hypocrisy.

    The decision on awarding the World Cups It is all about money pure and simple. FIFA have detected new potential revenue streams within countries that know how to deliver undetectable bungs. Although the Panorama programme was frustratingly presented by an understandably embittered journalist it exposed a side of FIFA that made me sick to the core. Whether or not any or all the specific allegations are ever proven, the very attitude of the FIFA organisation demonstrates such a high degree of arrogance and contempt for probity that it surely cannot go unchallenged. Their lack of adequate response is inexcusable and national governments and footballing bodies should now form a coalition to demand a radical overhaul of the whole football institution.

  33. Kernow

    Can’t blame the media – as the Spanish said, the fish were already in the basket. They knew weeks ago the it was going to Russia. Has nothing to do with infrastructure reports, presentations, all a waste of time and money. Blatter wanted Russia – end off.

  34. Gryff

    If open media is a frightening concept for FIFA delegates from the likes of Cameroon, Tahiti, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt & Russia then we are better off not being linked to such a backward organisation.

    Throughout our history since the Reformation it has been one long, drawn-out battle against corruption and for openness in society. If football has gone rotten then I say leave it to go rotten and let them waste someone elses money.

  35. henry vincent lewis

    The BBC program is a red herring used by delegates to justify their actions.
    They had all already decided months ago where their votes were going.
    the whole process is a joke.
    I agree totally with Ken Bates’ statement today.
    The ‘big’ football countries plus USA and Australia should leave FIFA.
    Let them fester in their own sleeze!!

  36. Chareose

    sadly as much as i agree with your rhetoric henryv, its likely that the English crying over not getting the World Cup would be met with antipathy, perhaps even amusement by the other footballing super powers…… Its arrogant to assume that other countries would leave Fifa simply because the English arnt happy…..

  37. henry vincent lewis

    I think you will find that these the other countries are far from happy.
    2 votes!!
    Bill Clinton spent a lot of time on the USA bid = 2 votes!!
    I do accept that it will not happen, but I agree with the sentiment.
    Blatter is a pratt.
    In truth I have little interest in it now.
    Saturday is all that matters!!!

  38. Tim Wilsom

    Ken Bates…”FIFA is a waste of space. It’s a money making organisation and I don’t think they give a damn about football.” :)

  39. lar

    what an absolute shocker that england only got two votes,then they gave the next one to qatar,an absolute organized clock-work theft and pay-offs.i suppose now we will have to put down the plastic turf to suit the russians.bring back the home nations with the rep. of ireland in it as well.can you imagine mongolia and the antartic holding the tournament.bbc its time you went out and asked more questions.

  40. Chareose

    ok read that article craig…… its raised an important point….. Why the fuck did the two england votes go to Russia in the second round ???!!!!!! Thats insane….. Portugal / Spain had 7 in both rounds and with the votes from england and holland it would have swung it, thus giving us less to man about. The World Cup going to a proper footballing nation with fantastic weather and culture…….

    • Craig

      For me, it is this section of the article that made my blood boil:

      “There are 38 cities in Qatar but roughly two-thirds of the population live in just one, Doha, the capital. The bid reflects this. There are stadiums to be upgraded in Al-Khor, Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Rayyan and Doha, plus stadiums to be built in Lusail, Doha, Ash Shamal, Doha, Umm Salal, Doha and Doha. Basically, Qatar is one big suburb of Doha. Lusail, where an 86,000-capacity stadium will be built, is 10 miles away, as is Umm Salal. Al Khor, Al Wakrah and Umm Salal all have populations of approximately 31,000, making them the same size as Ecclesfield in Sheffield. The official population of Ash Shamal is given as 5,400, less than half the size of Wombourne, Staffordshire. Ash Shamal is getting a stadium with a capacity of 45,330.
      This is what the members of FIFA’s ExCo voted for, with some specious context of legacy. In fact, the most telling figures are nothing to do with football at all, but can be found in something called the Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Its purpose is self-explanatory.
      The United Kingdom’s PFI ranking is 19, Australia is 18, Holland’s journalists were the most free of any bidding country, ranked third. Qatar are 120th, Russia 20 places behind. FIFA have given their two World Cups to the countries in which the press is most muzzled, most powerless, most murdered – certainly in Russia – and least able to question their masters.”

  41. henry vincent lewis

    I have to admit that I have not read a newspaper for at least 20 years so I cannot comment on the Times article and I did not see panorama TSS.
    However, no smoke without fire.
    My gut feeling is that the bungs run deep and the investigations by the media have only just begun!
    All the delegates will now be hunted and will have their lifestyles examined.
    Salary compared to house, car, holidays, friendships etc.
    I understand that 3 million in bribes has already been ‘paid back’ by delegates well before the vote = no smoke without fire, again!!
    People, in the know, will be willing to sell info’ to the highest bidder and all will be revealed.
    Twas ever thus!


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