These people make you physically sick

30 11 2010

Last night a lot of football fans were over-stimulated into paroxysms of hyperbole by the magic of “el gran classico”. The people without sky may have watched Panorama. 

Last night’s Panorama was billed as the infamous edition that would end the chance of the world cup being  awarded to England by throwing light into the murky world of FIFA. If you’re like the Jet Set the allegations won’t have come as a surprise, we’ve dealt with them before and most people should have an inkling that FIFA is corrupt. Andrew Jennings wrote “Foul!” as well as yesterday’s Panorama so it’s no surprise that the ground is well-trodden. Although we knew the basic problem was corruption it’s still a bit shocking to find that Jack Warner is still acting as a high-class ticket tout.

Despite the headline grabbing angle of corruption (covered here, and here, and here) and the labelling of the BBC as unpatriotic and generally damaging by people such as England’s Bid Team and the Daily Mail ( for having the temerity to do this on the eve of destiny), the corruption is not the only problem with FIFA. The more excitable elements of our national media seemed to miss the other points altogether.

The really shocking part of yesterday’s programmes was the section about the guarantees that FIFA extorts from the host country of the World Cup. These usually confidential (surprise, surprise) details came via a leaked document. It turns out that FIFA require exemption from all manner of normal rules and regulations; They need things like lax passport controls,  tax avoidance schemes, income protection for the sponsors as well as financial incentives.

Not only do you have to pay but you have to turn your country over to FIFA for a month with only the hope of a nebulous potential income as a carrot. The only real winners out of the world cup are FIFA, the hosts can be left with a large public debt and a host of massively impractical white elephant stadia.

Baring two things in mind; FIFA’s conditions and the squeeze on public finances, you’d have to question the wisdom of wanting to host the bloody thing in the first place. Would you feel comfortable knowing that for every minute the tournament is on Blatter and the boys are raking in the money?

The braying attitude of the right-wing press against Panorama is difficult to fathom. They are usually the first people to focus on the impropriety of public officials but Blatter flutters his eye lashes, promising glory and riches and they’re struck dumb, apart from slagging off our publicly funded media of course.

Cast your mind back to last May, remember when Good Old Dave was at the forefront of the fight against corruption. Now listen him, a lapdog in Blatter’s world. He doesn’t even like football really;

“Is it frustrating that Panorama’s doing this programme a few days before? Of course it is,” Cameron told the BBC.

“It would be such a great World Cup if we had it here. One of the ways to sell it to the world is that the world watches English football, the world comes and plays its football in England and so bringing the World Cup to England is such a natural step.

“Now we’ve got a real fight on our hands in Zurich, but I’m looking forward to it because I think we’ve got a great case to make.”

He added: “I think the job that Andy and others and myself are going to have in Zurich is to say to Fifa to look at the bids on their merits.”

Yeah right Dave. Just fuck the idea that it’ll cost billions to produce. Forget the idea that FIFA will rake in billions as a result, even forget that FIFA will deprive the exchequer of 100s of millions of pounds. Just say it’s full steam ahead. Oh and another thing Davie, forget that you told the rest of us to pull in our belts.  There can’t be many better examples of “Politician as Salesman” than the quotes from Good Old Dave, who does the creaseless wonder take us for?

Someone on the WSC messageboard said something quite apt about it all;

“But because it’s football, the public’s brains just waltz out the door”

Then right on cue, 50 morons complained about the tone of last night’s Panorama.

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