Thursday, 2 December 2010

Comedy football votes and Sepp Blatter: FIFA sells it's soul yet again

Well there you have it, football isn't coming home. I will not see in my lifetime a World Cup in the UK. The country that created the very first ever Football Association in the world, the country that is home to the EPL, greatest commercial success of a league now and for the last few decades.  More to the point, our bid was the first dropped, the least acceptable , the least vote getting, only two . Who won? Russia and that great footballing power Qatar who will host in 2022.

Gwan..I dare you , tell me the greatest ever footballer Qatar ever produced, tell me of the great stadia of the past that hosted the best and the most famous. Surely there must be an answers? How else does Qatar win? Here's a bold prediction, Qatar losses every match by at least 4 goals. As for Russia, it's one of the countries considered as most corrupt, not just in politics, but business and sport. How are we to believe the games will be any better protected than the rotten football in Bulgaria , Romania and Russia or Italy. Even IF Russian was the bastion of freedom and fair play, the stadia are no more up to standard today than they were when the Champions League was promised improved conditions. Legs will be broken, tourism will be lower than it was in South Africa and sadly, most of all, the only people to profit will be oligarchs and the private club of corrupt slime trail leavers who run International Football.

I would have been less angry if Spain or Holland had won, but these results indicate clearly that Panorama was wrong only in as much as they didn't uncover enough of the corruption in Fifa. Bribery and politics are the lifeblood of FIFA and until such time as the world governing body of football is cleansed by righteous fire and jail time will the whole sorry mess be fixed. Little wonder we can get sanity in the entire question of technology  in football. Little wonder that archaic old dinosaurs are holding back any real attempt at reform and rectification in the more just administration of rules on pitch and the  rampant rise in salaries that cannot be capped. Any attempt by national governments to fix things only seem to get the local FA closed down, rather than helped. Football, will not be covered in glory from this episode, and I fear that if we see any real change in the attitude of our own footballers in regards International play, it will be for the worse. What is the point? Why bother going, why bother trying if you cannot be guaranteed a fair match to your club the insurance of compensation should you be injured?  I frankly wasn't all that interested in the the current squad's ability to overcome all competition in the Euro's to be held in Poland. I will stick with club football and all that implies, At least I know how that works and what I can resonantly expect.

Let FIFA and it's bribe filled pockets talk about growing the game in the rest of the world, I won't be helping. The last few years have seen decisions so mad that we can only assume the criteria was... any country that needed help develop democracy, get a better tourist trade, and of course could never qualify for the World Cup by playing actual football, G-d forbid.  Countries so poor in football terms, economic terms or basic democratic qualifications have the best chance of winning. 22 people voting on something this big or important, invites abuse. Frankly any country not willing to play by the rules of FIFA should not try anymore, The expense and the raised expectations are not worth it.

But let us for just a minute bask in what could have been... Newcastle and Sunderland among other stadia from the Premier league, would have hosted matches allowing every venue to hold genuine, experienced football fans and supporters used to the game, who truly practice the religion of football. Alas it's not to be, Football United the, world wide charity that would have helped develop the game world wide, free of the sticky fingers of FIFA won't go ahead, and of course, We'll stay at home and watch on telly. Could have been the most profitable World Cup ever, but FIFA doesn't like clean , taxable profits where workers and concession holders are fairly paid and treated. Just once before Sepp and his pals introduce bigger nets, or force players to wear silly hats with sponsor's names on, I'd have loved to have seen the World Cup played in a football mad nation. I know Brazil is coming, but that is cold consolation to any country without perfect weather and sufficiently loose rules for FIFA's liking.

Not the article I had hoped to write, but then again, why am I surprised that Sepp Blatter, FIFA and shock decision are yet again in the same sentence?  Our game hasn't been ours for a long time, but as fans we have to marvel at just how much it is no longer our needs and feelings as core supporters that matter. There is enough serious talk about, that when enough EPL teams are owned by Americans, we'll be forced to give up fixtures to the "mass marketing" of the EPL in America, thus robbing home supporters of even more control over the tickets they get and the fixtures they can reasonably expect to attend on the day allegedly printed on the ticket.

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn called it "Dark Politics at work". So it's a big congratulations to the forces of greed, cynicism and corruption over the good of football and honest maths. Enjoy your little joke Mr Blatter, we're not laughing, and one day, if there is any justice in the world, you won't be either. I would like, however, to thank the entire 2018 England Bid committee for the work they did and the genuine good will they inspired, may it be harnessed for some other equal worthy goal. Football, and particular English football cannot help but profit from it.

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