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BLOG SITE OF SPIRITUALMAN, KEVILL DAVIES

Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

FIFA World Cup

The recent award of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been awarded to Russia, when the bid from England was widely expected to do much better. The English bid, supported by Prince William, the Prime Minister and International football superstar, David Beckham received just two votes out of twenty four, one of which was from the English representative on the FIFA board. Contrast this with the behaviour of the Russian President, Mr Putin who stayed at home for the vote, leading to much speculation that he didn't attend because he knew the result beforehand.
It can be argued that the English cause was not helped by the Panorama programme that uncovered widespread fraud amongst the FIFA members, leading to the suspension of two of them. Clearly there is something very smelly down in the FIFA woodpile and I feel that the programme couldn't influence a decision that had already been decided. Of course FIFA had to go through the motion to give some legitimacy to the process, but to put the English FA through the trouble and expense of £15m to make the bid seems a high price to pay to simply make up the numbers. According to many, the English bid was outstanding on a number of counts, including financial forecasts and infrastructure, thanks to all the work done in London for the 2012 Olympics. By any measure it ought to have won but FIFA work to another agenda. The President Mr Blatter has always said that he wants to expand the game into the furthermost corners of the world. To this end, the World Cup for 2022 has already been awarded to Qatar, the first venue in the Middle East. All very laudable, but why then ask the English to make a bid?
The bidding process includes numerous fact-finding visits from the Board to the various bidding countries. All very nice with first class travel and five star hotels plus favourable treatment from possible host countries including special tax status for all income. FIFA does as it likes and is largely indifferent to outside comment. Transparency is not obvious.
Who are FIFA and why do they run the World Cup when it was the British FAs that established the rules for the modern game in 1882? The British FAs formed the International arm to the sport in 1886 and FIFA became a member in 1913. FIFA introduced the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930
and its popularity has increased ever since. The original ideals of FIFA could not be faulted. Bringing the peoples of the world closer together with the beautiful game. One of the first principles was to do with integrity and it is built into their code of conduct.

Integrity. We believe that, just as the game itself, FIFA must be a model of fair play, tolerance, sportsmanship and transparency.

Sadly the dream seems to be going wrong, as the present-day competition generates truly huge amounts of money, matched by the huge resentments amongst the losing nations and allowing speculation that the bidding process is open to fraud. That some members might be accepting bribes to influence the bidding process was behind the BBC programme.

TIME THEN FOR THE BRITISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATIONS TO START THEIR OWN WORLD CUP STARTING WITH 2018 AND INVITE THE OTHER LOSING BIDDERS, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, HOLLAND, BELGIUM TO JOIN.

Russia can compete for the Jules Verne trophy, in a devalued tournament whilst England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic compete with others for the real World Cup with all the top teams. It is time for the inventors of the modern game to regain control of it's development.

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