Thursday, 2 December 2010

World Cup - if we can't stage it, let's win it

I didn’t realise how much I wanted football’s World Cup to come to England in 2018 until our bid was voted into last place by Fifa executives in Zurich today.
On a comparative scale of emotions I was more depressed by this news than I was pleased by London winning the 2012 Olympics. Football is our national game – beach volleyball and synchronised-swimming isn’t.
Our final Fifa presentation couldn’t be faulted. David Cameron and Prince William did their stuff and it cannot be long before the third ‘lion’ David Beckham receives a knighthood for his services to football.
There was something fishy in the comprehensive manner our bid was rejected in the first round.
Our claim to stage the world’s top football competition has had its fair share of setbacks – the exposure of Fifa corruption by the British media being just one. But to collect only one vote other than our own man’s suggests we were always on a hiding to nothing.
To complain further about the selection of Russia – or Qatar in 2022 – sounds like sour grapes but the Fifa voting process is clearly flawed.
I wish good luck to the victors. If South Africa can pull it off, it shouldn’t present oil rich Russia with too many problems.
But the country will be put to the test. Corruption is rife and nowhere more so than in its construction sector. However you can see why the Russian delegation’s promise of new stadiums and infrastructure appealed to Fifa. The legacy of their proposal was clearer than that of ours.
It is time the Russian people enjoyed some of the spoils that hitherto have been the domain of the oligarchs who cleaned up when the USSR broke up.
Now that we don’t have to worry about staging the World Cup until at least 2030 – which should see me and my contemporaries out – perhaps England’s footballing bodies can devote some time to winning the thing while we’re still here.


  1. Any suggestions GC as to how England might win it?

  2. Anon,
    Your comment has inspired my Friday post (see above) GC.


What do you think? GC