Saturday, December 04, 2010

Two quick thoughts on the World Cup bid

OK, Germany hosted in 1974, then again in 2006. Mexico in 1970 and 1986. Brazil is getting it again in 2014. But why should a country that has hosted once have another chance? There are 208 countries in FIFA. It has been said that giving it to Eastern Europe and the Middle East was a way of sharing the tournament around the world. I think that's plausible, but if it was such an overwhelming and compelling reason for giving it Russia and Qatar, why was anyone else encouraged to waste so much time, energy and effort? I think the answer is the bidding process generates so many offers of "vital assistance" to national federations and associations that they need to keep that pretence. It's not the winning, it's the taking part.

And isn't it rich with pathos that the England bid team distanced themselves from the exposes of FIFA corruption by the Sunday Times and the BBC's Panorama, but now bleat about, er, corruption and collusion.

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