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Time for Fifa to act on World Cup allegations

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David Bond | 16:36 UK time, Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It tells you a lot about Fifa that it has taken a one-off hearing by a Parliamentary select committee to, at last, air some of the claims and allegations which have long swirled around the bidding contests to stage the 2018 World Cup finals.

Ask anyone involved with England's doomed bid privately about the conduct of the Fifa members they were trying to woo and you would hear similar claims to the ones which were made public in Parliament yesterday by the former bid leader Lord Triesman.

But back then it was not convenient to rock the boat. Instead it was us, the media, who came under attack for scuppering England's chances by airing claims of misconduct involving Fifa's 24 decision makers.

Even Triesman now accepts that he was wrong to have waited so long before speaking out about the 'bribes' he says he was asked for by four Fifa executives.

But in light of what we heard on Tuesday, is it not now time for a full inquiry - held in public at Westminster not behind closed doors at Wembley - into what really happened with England's 2018 bid?

If we are to treat Lord Triesman's claims seriously - and he was the chairman after all - then should we not we hear from other senior figures who were involved right up until the sorry end last December?

What of Andy Anson, the chief executive, who cried foul after England polled only two votes and said that his team had been lied to?

England 2018 bid chairman Lord Triesman with Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Zurich

England 2018 bid chairman Lord Triesman with Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Zurich


What of David Dein, the bid's international president, whose job it was to fly around the world and try to persuade the executives that England was the right place to stage 2018? I recall being chastised by a furious Dein on the eve of the vote outside a lift in Zurich's Baur au Lac Hotel over the BBC's Panorama investigation.

What about Jane Bateman, the Football Association's head of international relations, and the only member of the team who was involved in England's 2006 World Cup bid? She knows most of the Fifa members better than anyone else at the FA.

And finally what of Simon Greenberg, the chief of staff, who co-ordinated the whole lobbying strategy?

Sadly Dein turned down the chance to tell the select committee his thoughts. The reason? He did not feel a public inquiry was the right forum for all this sort of thing.

And, apart from five minutes with the FA board immediately after the vote last December, Anson has not been asked by anyone to provide a proper debrief. This is astonishing.

Many inside the English game's governing body question what good an inquiry would do. Perhaps they fear raking over the past will not only show the bid's failings but also questionable 'deals' and bargains they discussed with members to try and get their vote.

Some sources at Wembley I have spoken to today are privately critical of Lord Triesman for bringing all this out in the open again. One told me that the story about Nicolas Leoz and his request for a knighthood was well known by senior bid figures but that it was seen as a bit of a joke.

It is certainly true in my mind that for all the noise generated by Lord Triesman the allegations involving two African members and Qatar's successful bid for 2022 are more significant. Today one of the men, Issa Hayatou, denied the claims, made by the Sunday Times newspaper, that he received money for voting for Qatar.

Fifa has also asked for the newspaper's evidence. But this is a bit strange as the letter published by the select committee yesterday suggests Fifa is already in possession of this material.

It is now clear that if world football's governing body is to stand any chance of restoring its tarnished reputation then it needs hard evidence and proof so that it can conduct a proper investigation into what really went on.

Today there was the first indication that we might get one. In a more pro-active move than we are used to, the Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke wrote to FA chairman David Bernstein asking for a file on the latest claims. The FA has already said it will do this but what is surprising, perhaps, is Fifa's claim to be extremely concerned by the latest revelations.

This could be taken either way but it does feel like the rhetoric from Fifa has hardened.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

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  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, 2 articles on the same subject in 2 days. BBC must be getting desperate. As usual, this will end up being non-story. I had to laugh about the Paraguayan who wanted a knighthood. Really? Even though he's not British? So, did he prefer KCVO or KCMG?
    I really admire this, "Do as I say, not do as I do" rhetoric that comes from English/British. This just shows the level of bitterness that England has sunk to because the 2018 WC bid failed, MISERABLY.
    When I think of all the corrupt organisations in the UK which have never been caught and never will be, I have to laugh about all these complaints about FIFA.
    All I wanted to know was how much J. Paxman is being paid from public money. Anyone at the BBC care to reveal it? No, I didn't think so.
    I hope FIFA will act to throw out at least the English FA, if not all 4 home nations, out of the FIFA/UEFA umbrella.
    England are not going to host the WC for many years. Why don't you just accept it and move on? The rest of the world has.

  • Comment number 5.

    Lord Treisman's comments just confirm what everyone has known for years!
    FIFA stinks! Always has and always will if it continues to be run the way it has.

    The Olympics are run the same way with this 'favours-for-votes' policy.

    Why should a member of a bid team have to fly around the world to beg for votes?
    You prepare your bid, present it and everyone votes for the 'best' one.

    The best most suitable bid should win the vote.
    They shouldnt think 'I know, I'll vote for England or France for example because they will vote for me next time'. Its not The Eurovision song contest!

    Its all about the money, money!
    Always has been and always will be!

  • Comment number 6.

    Do we think Lord Triesman or his FA colleagues were savvy enough to get hard evidence to back up these allegations. I'm prepared to eat a copy of the bid document if they were.

    Can you see any of those accused being daft enough to put any of their requests in writing? Well, I suppose they are FIFA Execitive Members!

  • Comment number 7.

    Following the latest accusations about corruption at the heart of FIFA why don't the FA take a leaf out of the Premier League's book and lobby with the other top associations across the globe to set up an International Champions' League? I am thinking here of the top 20 nations by both success and commercial attractiveness playing against each other home and away over a two year period. It would do away with the 'meaningless' friendlies which attract such criticism and provide a regular stream of income through home matches at Wembley playing the likes of Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, USA, Russia, Japan etc, etc. I think it would be incredibly popular with fans and sponsors alike and undermine the FIFA powerbase at a stroke.

  • Comment number 8.

    "I really admire this, "Do as I say, not do as I do" rhetoric that comes from English/British. This just shows the level of bitterness that England has sunk to because the 2018 WC bid failed, MISERABLY.
    When I think of all the corrupt organisations in the UK which have never been caught and never will be, I have to laugh about all these complaints about FIFA."

    @NonEnglish, I've a newflasgh for you: most of the football fans complaining DO NOT work for corrupt institutions. Even if The FA itself is corrupt, are you saying football fans in general shouldn't be complainting about FIFA? How does that work then?

    Your request for us to be quiet is not going to happen I'm afraid. If you want to subject to be forgotten about don't bother reading blogs on the subject, less so commenting. Who do you think you are telling people what they should and shouldn't be concerned about?!

  • Comment number 9.

    @NonEnglish, I've a newflash for you: most of the football fans complaining DO NOT work for corrupt institutions. Even if The FA itself is corrupt, are you saying football fans in general shouldn't be complaining about FIFA? How does that work then?

    Your request for us to be quiet is not going to happen I'm afraid. If you want the subject to be forgotten about don't bother reading blogs on the subject, less so commenting on them. Who do you think you are telling people what they should and shouldn't be concerned about?!

    As for your suggestion that FIFA should throw the home nations out; proof that you're a troll and nothing more. Have you any REASON the home nations should be thrown out beyond your own little fantasy world?

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  • Comment number 12.

    To Non-English (#4)

    If you read the blog it seems that most of the senior members of the bid team laughed as well.
    For you to speak of our bitterness yet call for all 4 home nations to be thrown out of FIFA because of the statements made by English media, former English FA member and (mostly) English fans seems like the pot calling the kettle black

    You are at least correct that we will not host the world cup for many years. Mostly because the earliest open slot is 2026 (15 years away) and no one except for Brasil and Russia will be hosting it in the next 10 years.

    I should point out that while I am disappointed that we did not get the world cup (and that we got so few votes) I have/had no problems with it going to Russia.
    There will always be politics/favours involved in these decisions especially while it remains the decision of a few members rather than all 200+ federations but that is a fact of life and should suprise no-one and even if the vote was opened up to every country then politics would still play a huge part in where it went
    The decision I am most concerned about and want to see cleared up is the Qatar decision as that to me seems a strange one. If there is evidence of bribery/corruption then let's see it and let's see an open FIFA investigation that shows what evidence it receives.

    As for Triesman - the man has a big mouth and his timing is awful. Bad decision number one was not to rock the boat in the first place (if you don't do it then don't complain later). Then he waits 4 months after the decision before saying anything! Why?

  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 14.

    Who made FIFA the owners of world football anyway?

    When the dart players became sick of their organisation, they just formed another one, which strangely enough became far more popular (because it had better players in it), and it is generally regarded as the premier organisation of that sport now.

    If they threw England out do you think people would stop watching Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, and Liverpool? Or stop being entertained by the football played throughout the league, especially with other excellent footballing sides coming in like Man City and Spurs? Do you think the players, with their billionaire chairmen, huge Sky TV contracts, and massive sold out stadiums would lose their 'incentive' to play there? Or that the fans would stop watching it?

    Football in England would live on comfortably.

    Then what if the grass outside FIFA began to look greener to other leagues? Maybe without FIFA blocking it, goal line tech would be adopted, and the Premiership becomes the place where football is considered to be better than in the rest of the world. Video replays of penalty decisions, or whatever else FIFA has simply refused to entertain would be allowed, or at least tested in an effort to improve the game and bring it up to date like other sports. All it'd take is for just one of the Spanish, Italian, German, French or Dutch leagues to decide they'd like to play outside of FIFA juristriction as well, and maybe participate in their own 'Champions' tournament with the Premiership and then suddenly FIFA becomes replaced with something better. In the end FIFA would represent Albania, Switzerland, Qatar and all the other countries no-one else wants to watch play, while the better footballing countries would consolidate and play in fantastic competitions.

    The Champions League wouldn't have teams in it who have clearly no chance of even progressing beyond the group stages, let alone being able to win.

    The World Cup would become a competition where every group is a 'group of death', and there'd be no such thing as an easy draw. You'd want to watch every single game, rather than skip the odd 'Chile vs Honduras' fixture or pretend you're suddenly very interested in how North Korea do.

    It's all academic anyway, as FIFA make too much money from the UK and vice versa. It'd also be a costly and difficult thing to do, and the relationship hasn't broken down completely within FIFA to the point of being unable to reason with it and improve it into the organisation everyone wants it to be. I'm just making the point that they don't own football, they haven't got complete power and I would not care if they did eject the UK, or if the UK left FIFA. If FIFA dissolved tomorrow, we'd all still be heading out at the weekend to either watch or play some football.

  • Comment number 15.

    To Bella_en_Sella (#7)

    The idea of the league itself sounds really good (add in promotion and relegations or regional leagues for qualification to let nations changing fortunes have an effect and it gets even better)
    I was originally going to say that it would be difficult to do but then I thought about it and if we did have the top 20 nations associations behind it then it wouldn't be that hard as they probably bring in a lot of the money and the best players so if they said they were going to break away and form alternative to FIFA then they would be able to negotiate with FIFA a deal that convinces them to stay or just go ahead and break away and get a good TV deal. This then means that the players would have good level international competition and good domestic wages so wouldn't leave for the FIFA approved leagues. The teams would also have to set up international club fixtures though to replace the Champions league/Libertadores and other continents cups (may need to be intercontinental if their are only 20 or so nations)
    But we need to be able to take the best leagues with us or our domestic league would suffer. If we broke away by ourselves then non of the players who play in the domestic league would be allowd to play in UEFA competitions so Champions league is out. They would also be unable to play internationally so this would lead to a mass exodus of the best foreign players and probably the english ones as well. TV revenues would fall so we then a vicious circle would form making the English league less and less attractive.

  • Comment number 16.

    At the end of the day these allegations may be true and some people are actually complaining. It is not now about England losing and I m not english. Its about the wonderful sport of footy and how it affects children and fans worldwide. We should agree if bribery is present thzen it should be wiped out. How can a 75 year old suisse eltern hold this together and take it to the future. Come on, lets have energy, enough youth to be in touch and a voting system that can nt be taken down with bribery or allegations. WE DO KNOW there is q history of issues so lets stop and clean up without Blatter who should retire.

  • Comment number 17.

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  • Comment number 18.

    Think it would be quite good if we were thrown out tbh. Start a breakaway organisation primarily focussed solely on playing football. Sincerely believe the majority of serious football playing nations would join such an organisation sooner rather than later. People say such an idea is ridiculous but i really don't see why it couldn't be done. Anyone?

  • Comment number 19.

    To JackMcMac (#14)

    Covered some of a response to this in my previous post (#15) before I saw your comment so will reply in a bit more detail

    Being thrown out or leaving on our own would be a disaster for English football as a spectacle.
    None of the players playing in an English only breakaway league would be eligible to play in any club/country international fixtures. This means the only competitions available to the players would be the League, FA cup and League cup. The best foreign players would leave very quickly to be able to play and the quality in the league drops sharply. So then the TV money drops because audiences drop (especially international which is where the Premier league makes most of its TV money from) and then we wouldn't be able to spend on youth development so quality drops further.
    The english players would also be in a difficult position as they may not be eligible for international club games or even to be registered by overseas clubs (ie CL etc). If they are then the best of them will move to Europe as the money available to those that are good enough will be higher.
    To breakaway we need to be able to take a minimum of 10 or so nations with us (mostly european and that creates another geographic problem) to be able to offer the international games (club and country level) and definitely would need at least 2 of Spain, Germany and Italy among those

  • Comment number 20.

    These allegations and the focus around England and its media has made it appear as though it is just an England Vs FIFA battle.

    Australia who seemingly failed just as bad as England are hardly taking these claims calmly:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/lowy-fuming-over-cup-bribery/story-fn63e0vj-1226054253970

    And it is worth taking a look again at America's initial reaction to the bidding:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/12/02/us-soccer-world-us-reaction-idUSTRE6B15OK20101202

    Just because it is our nation making the allegations, try not to be fooled into thinking we are alone. FIFA will face fierce pressure to fix the wrong doings.

  • Comment number 21.

    To badfella0807 (#17)

    Worst rant ever. Our abilities in other sports is irrelevant. Russia got it because more people from all over the world voted for it and we could only convinve 1 other person to vote for ours. Russia will open up football to new areas which is something that FIFA wants to do so that was a big advantage for them over us
    England's main points were
    (i) We have fantastic stadiums (agreed)
    (ii) We have the infrastructure to host it (agreed)
    But Russia can build these and offer the additional factor of it's never been out here so will grow football in Eastern Europe (more revenues to FIFA)

  • Comment number 22.

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  • Comment number 27.

    @17 English football does not dominate the Champions League, international football dominate the Champions League. The Championship is English football more or less and they don't dominate anything. Since the WC has never been in Russia or in the Soviet Union I don't see a problem with Russia hosting it. They also have the funds to build the infrastructure needed. If the UK left FIFA that would mean the end of the Premier League as we know it. I doubt many foreigners would want to watch what would basically be the Championship and Sky would pay far less for the rights.

  • Comment number 28.

    For a Nation like England, the fact that we have not held a world cup tournament since 1966 speaks volumes. Where did FIFA get its authority from?. It may well be a century has passed before we host it again. Why do we need FIFA?. It is a possibility that the instances alleging improper behaviour by members of the FIFA committee is just the thin edge of the wedge. How naive of the F.A to ask FIFA to investigate itself. Are Turkeys ever going to vote for Christmas?. This nation along with many other major footballing nations need a vote on forming their own alliance in the best interests of World Football. The last world cup was a farce with bad decisions being allowed because of outdated rules that FIFA are reluctant to change. Time for the British Bulldog to to show some spirit instead of behaving like a Pussy Cat.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think everybody here is missing the point, especially number 4. This isn't about the English being bitter because another country won. This is a out FIFA asking a whole host of countries to bid, spend money on plans, wine and dine FIFA members, fly across the world etc. when only one of those countries realistically has a chance. FIFA must have been livid when Brazil were uncontested for 2014. Why would a FIFA keep it a secret (and in some cases lie to keep that secret) if they weren't hoping to gain something? How members voted should be released afterwards including details of all gifts and services provided to individual members by bidding nations.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think it's about time we took the approach of America and Australia with regards to sport. Take the NBA NFL AFL etc etc the Americans don't care about international sport. Their domestic leagues are the best in the world. The best players play in them. International football is on a decline the footballers don't care anymore, its all about domestic success. Adopt the same attitudes and create an even better EPL and maybe other nations that are fed up with FIFA would follow suite.

    A dream I know.

  • Comment number 31.

    “But in light of what we heard on Tuesday, is it not now time for a full inquiry - held in public at Westminster not behind closed doors at Wembley - into what really happened with England's 2018 bid?”

    No. England’s bid satisfied every requirement better than any other bidder, yet they were knocked out in the first round. This clearly shows that the bids are judged in some other way, one that is not made public. This is down to FIFA. An enquiry in England won’t change how FIFA do things, unfortunately.

  • Comment number 32.

    @30

    Seriously, I have lived in the US for 15 years and although it's not a bad country overall you don't want to adopt the US sports systems in England. The only global team sport they are good at is basketball, the rest of the US sports are mickey mouse (a word used by Americans about non US sports) sports in the rest of the world except for baseball in a few countries like Japan and in Central America. American "football" is divided into 4x15 minutes and the games (not matches in the US) take 3-4 hours. Baseball is as fun to watch as cricket or as watching grass grow. MLS (Major League Soccer) is still pretty small but will probably change given the immigration tendencies and could be a major sport in 50 years. Then you have a sport like hockey (ice hockey in the UK) which is Canada's main sport where they have salary caps (goodbye Man U, Man C Chelsea etc) to make the league more interesting where a team can be forced to sell players if they are too successful. Most US sports have also a system where the worst teams have the first shot at picking new players and finally nobody gets relegated so the lower half of the table becomes totally uninteresting and not like in England where the most exiting thing right now is who is going to be relegated. There are so many breaks in US sports that people eat dinner at the stadiums, mainly TV commercials but also time outs etc. I have been to one baseball game and since I don't know the intricacy it becomes extremely boring. I thought for a moment about committing suicide after 2 hours of nothing :)

    Also if England left the FIFA don't think for a moment that the Premier League would be able to attract or keep any really good foreigners since they would be banned from world cups and for most footballers the WC is the biggest thing to play and win. So it would probably end up with Championship football in the PML.

  • Comment number 33.

    As interesting as all this is I still feel that a major point in this whole saga is being woefully overlooked.
    The bid for the 2018 World Cup, I am informed, cost the FA 15 million pounds. Over 2 million of that money came from local councils who wished to host some of the matches if the bid was successful.
    It appears to me that FIFA had no intention of awarding (via the ballot) the 2018 or 2022 World Cups to the countries with the deepest footballing roots or the best infrastructure to host them, essentially the best bids. They instead intended all along to once again extend the world of football to new areas of the world be it for long term growth of the sport or revenue. Look at South Korea/Japan and South Africa hosting 2 of the last 3 world cups, neither really superpowers of the beautiful game on a global level.
    10 of the 19 World Cups so far played have been held in Europe, the last being the 2006 Cup in Germany. Before the 02 Cup in South Korea/Japan only European and South and North American countries had ever hosted the championship.
    To have such a swift change of focus, all be it in 4 year blocks, suggests to me there is some form of long term plan from within FIFA to make the World Cup truly a `World´Cup.

    So to the point; my argument isn´t over corruption, bribes, he said she said etc.. It´s just to say why didn´t FIFA have the decency to say or the FA have the common sence to ask if the Cup would be given to the best bid or if the likelyhood was that a before unused destination would be favoured.
    I know to consider such sensible pro-active action is dispicably unheard of but should it be considering the now unfolding aftermath of another under the table deals shocker?
    To do so would have saved the fans a whole lot of heartache, the bid team a whole lot of effort, David Beckham a whole lot of air miles and more to the point the UK tax payer 15 million pounds which could have been put to 15 million better uses.

  • Comment number 34.

    “But back then it was not convenient to rock the boat. Instead it was us, the media, who came under attack for scuppering England's chances by airing claims of misconduct involving Fifa's 24 decision makers.”

    It’s funny how last year Mr Bond was using the terms “them”, “Panorama”, “the media”, now it is “us”.

  • Comment number 35.

    funny though that Russia was not accused of trying to bribe for the 2018 world cup, yet England feels it was robbed.For only two votes something is also wrong with the FA and not just FIFA

  • Comment number 36.

    You could throw tonnes of fast action super-glue at these guys and it wouldn't stick - whether it is FIFA, the FA, BPL - you name it.

    What's funny is that it is a bunch of politicians that are doing the throwing - any accusations seem to leave their greasy palms pretty quickly too!

    Where have all the good men gone? (credit to Bonnie Tyler where it is due ...)

  • Comment number 37.

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  • Comment number 38.

    It is the opinion of most football fans that they believe the allegation of FIFA being constitutionaly corrupt.

    It is up to FIFA to prove otherwise or risk adding weight to the allegation by being seen to take no action.

  • Comment number 39.

    English football suffers from severe delusions of former grandeur.
    Can't the English FA fast forward from 1966 and concentrate on the massive task of getting its own house in order rather than casting stones ?
    When's yer next interview with Bernstein, 007 ?

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    Wake up BBC Sport! Whatever happened to freedom of speech? There is so many comments being removed from this site that shows people are not allowed to express their opinions anymore on BBC Sport. My previous comment was removed for no reason other than the fact that I voiced my disgust at FIFA and Blatter. I frequently comments on other sites using much harsher words and they don't remove comments. You're rules have turn your discussions like this one into a complete joke. I suggest you pull your heads out of the sand.

  • Comment number 42.

    The whole FIFA issue has seriously undermined global football. It is now obvious that FIFA have been discriminating against England for decades, which makes a complete mockery of their 'Kick Racism Out of Football campaign'. We need an SFO investigation into FIFA as they have been potentially unfairly acting against our national interests. I am truly shocked.

  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    The biggest joke of all is the FIFA "Fair Play" moto. FIFA wouldn't know fair play if it smacked them in the head.

  • Comment number 45.

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  • Comment number 46.

    Just imagine the problem Fifa would be facing if the BBC and other outlets actually permitted freedom to discuss Fifa.

  • Comment number 47.

    @31 (a fat bloke down the pub said so)

    Nail firmly hit on the head!

  • Comment number 48.

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  • Comment number 49.

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  • Comment number 50.

    I seem to break the house rules all the time. I wonder, if I was dishonest, deliberately mismanaged Football, stole from innocent Tax Payers (who love and hate Football) and then claimed I can sort the problem out - without returning the money! - would I not break any more house rules?

    I wonder am I constantly breaking house rules because I raised the issue of the Media losing credibility due to its biased attachment to certain individuals?

    Item 49 will also be removed. I am sure it breaks house rules too!

  • Comment number 51.

    If you look at the circumstances of Triesmans abrupt departure last year, it is evident that he has no credibility.

  • Comment number 52.

    Usual anti England rubbish from #4. I couldn't care less about the world cup not coming here - I would just like to see Blatter and his cronies come a cropper.

    Especially Jack Warner - stick to cricket mate.

  • Comment number 53.

    Okay .... so what is wrong with my 2 removed posts?

    Are we now NOT ALLOWED to be anti-FIFA ?

    Or are we not allowed to state that Triesman's posturing is pointless without proof, which obviously he will be unable to provide?

    Or is it that we may not state that - obviously! - if FIFA investigate themselves they will simply find that they have done nothing wrong?

    What happened to freedom of speech, let alone freedom of thought? Why write weak blogs that say very little and then delete such a high percentage of the comments?

    You may as well just write another weak article which is not open to comment.

    And here I was thinking it was only the govt in my home country (SA) which called for a "Media Tribunal" to regulate what may and may not be said and avoid critisism ... yet once again the BBC moderators have proven me wrong :/

  • Comment number 54.

    I read a post yeasterday calling for a total boycot of commenting on anything on this site for a month.

    I am beginning to think that may be a worthwhile idea ..... if nobody comments there is no need for moderators ..... writers can write any drivel they like because it will get no attention ..... writers will become bored and disillusioned writing articles that nobody reads ...... maybe we can achieve a shake-up at the BBC at least, even if we can't do anything about FIFA .......

    So come on ..... let's read nothing and write nohing for one month, beginning tomorrow.

    Think it can't work ?

    "Grasshopper ...... no single raindrop considers itself the cause of the flood" (Chinese Proverb)

  • Comment number 55.

    I agree with "NonEnglish" - I think we SHOULD withdraw from FIFA, and look to start our own European body.
    Invite the home nations first; consult the fans and organise it properly, cleanly and with clarity, and when it's up and running and raking in the £s (at the expense of UEFA & FIFA), see who else in Europe wants to drop the Blatter and Platini et al and their horribly obvious prejudices.
    I honestly think a British Isles Cup would be far more rewarding than what the Euro Champs, Champions League, Europa and World Cup qualifiers/finals have become (essentially drawn-out, unwatchably cynical cash cows).

    Britain is the birthplace of football. It's the home of football. I'm not claiming we're better at it than everybody else, clearly we're not, but certainly we should waste no more time hammering on the door to get into somebody else's substandard party.

  • Comment number 56.

    FIFA need to sort it - don't like one bit where they are heading. I think they hold too much power.

    And also, it's odd why this page was named xxxx.html. Don't want google to give a higher search index to this page for some reason?...

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 57.

    The reason the rest of the bid team don't come forward with their stories of dodgy dealings is that they know that they are tainted by association; but they need to take a long hard look at themselves and man up! Coming out with it now is several months too late, but it is far better late than never. Anson and the rest need to accept a minor pasting for the greater good. Indeed, coming clean now is their only path to redemption in the long run.

    Well done to Lord Triesman for, in the end, having the balls to come clean. We also need the Australians to back us up.

    Can't wait for the Eurovision Brown Nosing Contest - I suspect there will be quite a few nil points for the UK in the light of this!

    Come on Anson, Dien et al - its time to clean up and smell the coffee (as opposed to the ...!)

  • Comment number 58.

    @non english
    its The FA, not english FA... as we invented the game.
    Were not bitter, were BETTER!

  • Comment number 59.

    Couldnt FIFA draw up a wish list of venues and then let perspective countries bid.
    Also the £15million spent is vulgur, shouldnt there be a ceiling on this also.

    Seeing as were bailing out most eu countries with out £s, lets form a new FIFA after all who are the 200 or so countries who get to vote?

    Lets have top 20 footballing countries, a premier league if you like and a world cup every 2 years forget the euros. And rota out the venues with the 20- so a world cup every 10 years, give more life to the stadium. FIFA mission to bring football to the world, thats fine but why hinder the elite? After all its a spectator sport.

  • Comment number 60.

    People have to separate out reform of FIFA (which I suspect many in other countries would support) from the 'we should have got the World Cup' hubris.

    England will not unilaterally withdraw from FIFA without support. It would be comical and could only be construed as an act of petulance: its my ball and I'm going home.

    #58

    It is the English FA if you are not in England. How could it be anything else?

    #59

    How are England bailing out most EU countries? You are a nation not a state! In reality, England are not bailing out anyone.

  • Comment number 61.

    A message to all anonymous jobsworths who base their moderating decisions on the degree to which a comment supports their political agenda. (It is up the BBC moderators to decide whether this refers to them or not.)

    My comment (like many others) was removed because "the moderators found it broke the House Rules."

    First of all, the verb 'find' implies PROOF, and is therefore not applicable here. The decision whether or not to remove a comment is based on OPINION, not incontrovertible evidence. The verb 'decide' (or 'determine') would be more appropriate.

    Secondly, I am prepared to argue that my comment did not break house rules (and doubt that those of the other, no doubt justifiably outraged, commentators did, either). However, if I want to appeal, I have to go off into some quiet, private little room, well out of sight of anyone else, where a determination will be made based on the personal opinion of some anonymous BBC employee. For 1984, read 2011.

    We're paying for the BBC, and have a right to be heard without petty censorship!

    I do not, however, agree with calls for boycotting this site. I would argue, instead, that we should stand up for our rights by submitting posts calling for freedom of speech and transparency.

  • Comment number 62.

    United fans - there is a campaign to get 19 by Paul hardcastle to number 1 for this Sunday to celebrate number 19! Currently at number 38 in downloads. Let's get it to number 1 it's only 79p. Let all your red mates know.

  • Comment number 63.

    have the world cup bidding on ebay. A good idea from the economist;

    http://www.economist.com/node/18681960/comments

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    so me calling the FA tothless and implying their complicity with the World Cup balls up, warrants removing my post? how pathetic are you people?

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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