Okay, i'm not usually one to Comment on the immediate news, but I felt I had to throw my hat into the circle regarding the reasons England failed to clinch the rights to host the 2018 FIFA world cup. before anyone thinks I'm just bitter, the following is only my opinion, and I can honestly say I didn't want England to host the World cup. I think hosting the worlds biggest football tournament four years after the Olympics would have been downright asinine, especially given the UK's current economic situation.
To be honest, the crux of the issue is right there. Its the FIFA world cup. A friend of mine at work pointed out to me the other day that every other country in the world names it's Football association after the country.
Englands is simply "The FA."
It's fairly indisputable that England is the home of the modern game of football, yet despite having pretty much the strongest bid on the table, we were passed over in favour of Russia, a country that is still recovering from years of abuse at the hands of the social regime.
Now, I'm not going to accuse Russia of bribery or anything so crass. even if they did, it's irrelevant, because England were never going to win that bid. Because FIFA does not like England.
When FIFA look at England, they see two things:- they see the hooligan nation of the seventies and they see the single most successful football league in the world.
In the first case, they aren't willng to accept that we aren't truly a hooligan nation anymore. for the last few major events, England fans have been repeatedly praised for their well-behaved nature. Sure, it can't have helped that we had trouble over the Midlands derby THE NIGH BEFORE THE VOTE, but even so, that sort of event is now far more common in the European leagues. And yet, everyone still acts like English fans are just a bunch of thuggish troublemakers looking to ruin every tournament we go to.
If you ask any person around the room who the biggest football/soccer club in the world is, they will inevitably mention the name "Manchester United." What FIFA wants, to be honest, is for you to say "Real Madrid" or "Juventus." They want those big medditerranean countries to be seen as the heartland of football, not some little island up in the middle of nowhere.
The premier league attracts the most money in the world. and FIFA don't. lets face it, historically, England has never been a popular country amongst the international community. At the end of the day, we used to run roughshod over most of these guys for whatever we wanted, and that still doesn't sit well.
It doesn't help, of course that we constantly act as if we are the most important nation in the world to football. The constant air of superiority was such that a lot of people assumed we had the bid won before we'd even started.
FIFA don't like us. Plain and simple.
Now, I know a lot of people want to blame the Panorama sting for the way the voting went. FIFA are certianly trying to infer that. But imagine that rather than the Mondya before the vote, Panorama was coming out this monday. How would that look?
I'll tell you how it would look. It would look like England was throwing one monumental hissy fit after losing the vote. The only way the BBC could come out of that with any Journalistic integrity was to broadcast it before the vote. The timing could have been much much better, but in my heart of hearts, I don't beleive it changed the outcome.
Becuase to put a World cup on in England would have shown FIFA up. after years of trying, unsuccessfully, to marginalise the English game's importance, it would have acknowledged that England is simply one of the best places to hold the event. That would have put too much power and prestige into the FA's hands, power and prestige that the FA would have used to railroad FIFA any chance they got. The fact is, the English game does not need to power boost that the World Cup gives, and to get it would have made an already powerful league virtually unparalleled in terms of sway.
And that was never going to happen.