â€˜Logic has to be suspended, normal standards of honesty and integrity have to be suspended. We have to go on our knees to accept FIFA diktats, crawl on our bellies to beg them to give us the World Cup.â€™
If youâ€™ve not watched last nightâ€™s â€˜Panoramaâ€™ then I strongly suggest that you do before reading this post. Hereâ€™s the link.
So…itâ€™s not often that I agree with David Mellor, but itâ€™s his quote at the top of the post and heâ€™s absolutely right. As much as I would love the World Cup to be held in England, when itâ€™s clear that thereâ€™s an endemic problem with corruption within FIFA then to be perfectly honest weâ€™re better off staying as far away from them as possible.
In fact, Iâ€™d go further than that. Weâ€™ve always had issues with FIFA â€“ the FA withdrew for political reasons after the First World War and didnâ€™t return to the fold until after the Second â€“ but it was only when Joao Havelange took over from Sir Stanley Rous in 1974 that the almost medieval culture of simony, patronage and nepotismÂ began to prevail in Zurich.
Almost 40 years later, Sepp Blatter and hisÂ henchmenÂ are running FIFA like a third world dictatorship and being Â allowed to get away with it by both the football world and the Swiss authorities. Thereâ€™s absolutely no point in the FA submitting any further bids to stage any tournament until the likes of Blatter, Ricardo Teixeira (Havelange’s ex-son in law) and Jack Warner have been removed from FIFA.
In summing up, as far as Iâ€™m concerned last nightâ€™s â€˜Panoramaâ€™ destroyed any remaining credibility that FIFA had rather than any faint hopes that England might host the 2018 World Cup. In any case, thereâ€™s bound to be some decent teams that donâ€™t qualify for the 2018 World Cup…so why donâ€™t we organise an alternative one?
Feel free to disagree.Â After all,Â 11 Lions isÂ only aÂ blog, not the international sporting equivalent of Zimbabwe.