So the vice-president of England’s FIFA World Cup 2018 bid said today that England have a better bid than competing bids from Russia and the joint bids from Spain and Portugal and Holland and Belgium.
Without doubt, England has been the favorite for logistical reasons and the numerous stadiums in place with more on the way for the 2012 Olympics in London. Gordon Taylor, the VP, also said that England’s football heritage is another trump card. Meh, does that really matter anymore? Three of the past five World Cups have been held in developing football nations. So, short answer, no.
Then Taylor said something really interesting, “Politics could scupper England’s bid, but it shouldn’t be allowed to as politics should not dictate to sport, and when you look at the bid process, it shouldn’t have an effect. Instead, look at the bids – that’s the idea of it, and our bid is the best.”
This statement comes after speculation that recent probes into the bid process by The Sunday Times, exposing some FIFA representatives selling their votes, has hurt England’s chances. Why? Because English news publications are out to sabotage other bids in the name of England, according to some.
Heaven forbid somebody shed a little light on the goings-on within FIFA. But therein lies the problem and what makes Taylor’s statements so comical.
There are representatives out there with World Cup votes for sale, or at least it appeared that way based on the evidence if you want to get technical about it and avoid libel lawsuits (like I do). I would think the last thing FIFA want at their crown jewel of 2018 is reporters snooping around, trying to dig up a story. It would be much more convenient to have a host overjoyed to be able to host such an event and cater to FIFA’s every request. Some place like Russia, or Qatar (in 2022).
So if England don’t get the bid for 2018, it won’t be because there is a better bid out there, Mr. Taylor. It will be because FIFA don’t like looking foolish and the English press has no qualms about making anyone look foolish. That and The FA won’t stump up £500,000 per vote.