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England 2018 heavyweights enter the fray

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David Bond | 10:53 UK time, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

British Prime Minister David Cameron will head straight from the airport to meet Fifa president Sepp Blatter at Fifa House when he arrives here on Tuesday morning.

The meeting is a clear sign that Cameron means business and will be followed by a series of key meetings with other members of the Fifa executive committee, which will decide on Thursday who hosts the 2018 World Cup.

At the same time, Prince William and David Beckham are also due to arrive in the Swiss city to lend their support to a campaign that believes it has been hurt by BBC Panorama revelations on four of the executives.

On Tuesday morning, the BBC's executive editor for current affairs, Clive Edwards, responded to claims from the England 2018 camp that the broadcaster should be "embarrassed" by the programme by revealing that the BBC had presented its evidence of a secret list of bribes paid to Fifa officials on 10 November.

David Beckham prepares to board a plane for ZurichBeckham prepares to board a plane for Zurich. Photo: PA

Edwards said Fifa failed to take any action and repeated the BBC's position that, despite the last-minute scheduling of the programme, it was in the public interest.

But one cannot overplay the level of frustration felt by members of England's bid team, who believe they have been let down by the corporation at exactly the moment it should have been getting fully behind them.

One senior member of the England camp grabbed me by the arm on Monday night in the lobby of the Baur au Lac hotel, where much of the frenzied lobbying and deal making is going on, and said: "The BBC should hang its head in shame at what it's done."

On one level, it is easy to understand all this frustration. The England 2018 team believe they have the best bid, that the country deserves its chance to host the World Cup for the first time since 1966 and that the people are fully behind it.

But what cannot be escaped is the fact that the process for deciding which country hosts a World Cup is not a transparent and open process. And, as Panorama's programme demonstrated, the people making such an important decision, worth billions and billions of pounds, have serious questions to answer over their probity and suitability to do so.

Should we all just look the other way when evidence is presented which suggests £66m worth of bribes were paid out to sports officials, including three current members of the Fifa executive committee?

The International Olympic Committee does not think so. On Tuesday, it announced its ethics commission would be looking into the claims against Issa Hayatou, the head of African football, who is also a member of the IOC.

Fifa, meanwhile, has issued a statement saying Panorama's revelations "date back many years ago and were investigated by the relevant authorities in Switzerland". It added that "the investigation and the case are definitely closed".

Against this backdrop, Cameron, Beckham and Prince William will attempt to turn on the charm and deflect attention from Panorama on to the stadiums and money-making potential an England bid offers.

On Tuesday, a Fifa report carried out by consultants McKinsey revealed England scored 100% and came top with the United States in an analysis of the economic benefits each of the 2018 and 2022 bidders offer as potential hosts.

So, as the 'three lions' of England's bid, as chief executive Andy Anson called them on Monday, begin their networking, what are the key questions that the campaign must answer in the next two days?

First, they need to know what Jack Warner is going to do. Warner controls at least two of the three votes from Concacaf (the north, central and Caribbean football confederation). He is crucial to England's chances of getting the five or six votes they need to get through the first round. Without him, England cannot build momentum. If Warner reacts badly to Panorama's ticket-touting claims, then England are in real trouble.

Secondly, they need to gauge the reaction from Hayatou, whom they hoped would vote for England. Having already been bruised by the fallout from the Sunday Times investigation, he is unlikely now to be well disposed to England.

Finally, England's team need to know how many executive committee members will actually vote. At the moment, Reynald Temarii, the member for Tahiti who was banned for a year in connection with the Sunday Times expose, cannot take part in the decision.

But he is considering dropping his appeal, allowing him to be replaced immediately by another member from the Oceania confederation, David Chung, who, it is believed, would back England. There is still a lack of clarity on this from Fifa.

Despite all these questions and England's insistence it can win, it is clear Cameron, Beckham and Prince William still have their work cut out.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Go England! I back the World Cup bid.

    Damn the BBC tabloids and Panorama trying to scupper their chances.

  • Comment number 2.

    Is there any point in commenting on this? David never replies and the posts are "moderated" to oblivion.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Is it not funny that all the posts are now being moderated regarding the world cup bid?

    BBC worried by the backlash of the hundreds of thousands of football fans that they may have just denied them the greatest event in the sporting world?

  • Comment number 11.

    Leaves a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth that the PM David Cameron and even Royalty have to go virtually begging' Fifa members for their vote, but I hope the false idolatry is all worth it because if we actually did win the bid..it would mean at least we wouldn't waste the money, time and effort for another 50+ years bidding again - in which time the whole process may change for the better - and unless Fifa goes back on any decision to come here maybe we might have more influence in bringing about that change?

    One question, do members like Jack Warner get to vote for who they personally like or do the actual Confederations and countries that they represent have any say or control?

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Surely the BBC cannot deny that it is in the public's interest to have The World Cup in the UK, right? So why do anything which could jepodize that?

    COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE by the BBC. I'm all for freedom of press, investigative journalism, freemarkets etc but BBC is a public broadcaster and so should only do things that will benefit the public as a whole. No matter what anyone says this has got to have at least 1 iota of negativity towards our bid. We pay a licence fee for the service. In NO WAY CAN THIS BENEFIT THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

    The program should have been aired after the decision. My regard of the BBC has gone massively downhill.

    I am totally frustrated by this whole episode.
    The BBC should have

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    I wrote a perfectly reasonable response criticising the BBC for chasing ratings. Incredible that the comment was removed.

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    I have been gauging opinion with work colleagues and other people today and not one single voice has come out in favour of the BBC and the programme they placed on air last night ....... my earlier comments from today were refused although there was little in there that was controversial from just a nobody on the internet . I am sadly beginning to believe those people that say the BBC is overly politically correct and left leaning are correct .....

  • Comment number 19.

    Regardless of the merits of the BBC investigation, the timing of the programme is impossible to justify.

    If the BBC really wanted to act in the public good they would have passed on any evidence weeks ago in order to allow FIFA time to respond before the vote (as with the Sunday Times article).

    By airing now, it only serves as a piece of sensational journalism with no respect for the public good inside or outside England.

    Very poor BBC.

  • Comment number 20.


    My last posting has been censored along with endless others, all I supect critical of the BBC. How interesting that the red pen of the BBC comes out when they are under fire. Since when were the BBC entitled to judge what is in the public interest?
    I have just listened again to the sanctimonious justification by the BBC Head of Current Affairs for their decision to broadcast Panorama last night. Utterly predictable and shamefully hypocritical, the BBC are keen to maintain their relationship as host Broadcaster for the Olympics in spite of the alleged corruption in the IOC. Double standards?
    Lets hope the FA respond by refusing to deal with the BBC in the future.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Has anyone considered the possibility that these investigations may actually help the England bid?

    If England don't win it then the BBC and Sunday Times allegations will carry a lot more weight.

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 23.

    Is the answer to the Warner situation not relatively simple, at least on the face of it? We agree to back the USA bid for 2022 which he is publicly pushing as chief of CONCACAF (or whatever it is called now), in return for his vote for 2018.

  • Comment number 24.

    I agree with the wedding invitation suggestion from Prince William!

    Good luck to the two Davids and William. We're probably going to need it! Let's hope that Fifa votes on the bid and the bid alone.

  • Comment number 25.

    We seem to have missed the point. Surely a bid should be considered entirely on its merits, and in private. If at this stage a FIFA official is swayed by a conversation Prince William or David Beckham then he is not suitable for the job.

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

    This situation is so perplexing that my comments are awaiting moderation.

  • Comment number 28.

    My comment (17)

    Removed because it broke house rules.

    I only asked 3 questons of the BBC.

    What a joke!

  • Comment number 29.

    As expected my last comment has been "moderated" I guess it wasn't in the public interest!!!

    Hopefully this will slip through

    If FIFA were formed today it would be formed in Russia!!!

    Any thoughts????


  • Comment number 30.

    Good luck too the vip's, but, im afraid thee beeb has screwed us all over. Any protest the TV tax pages up yet?

  • Comment number 31.

    I am disgusted by the BBC, have you seen all the comments that have been
    removed for moderation, perfectably reasonable comments have been removed. The BBC has probably lost the nation the chance to host the world cup and their argument being freedom of the press, so was it worth it!! and yet people post a perfectably reasonable comment here and freedom does not count for much if you're critising the BBC!!!!
    i've complained about racist anti-english comments on this blog but the BBC has left them on but criticise the BBC and you'll be off like the 10 or so blogs removed here. Disgusted that my license fee is contributing to this farce!!!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    We as license fee payers will have to fund Gary and the boy's jolly to either Spain or Russia now!!!!

    Perhaps Milton Keynes doesnt float their boat!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    If we get 2018, I hope there'll be more English players strutting their stuff over the next ten years in helping build a reasonably good England team.

    England for 2018.

    Australia for 2022.

  • Comment number 34.

    Gary Lineker gave up his Mail on Sunday column in protest against its Lord Triesman sting which threatened England's bid to host the World Cup in 2018, will he do the same for MOTD and the BBC? I doubt it!

  • Comment number 35.

    This is exactly why the BBC should be a subsciption service! Then we wouldnt have to make our feelings known in posts that will only be removed, we could make our opinions known with our mass cancellations of the service!

    Being forced to pay for a service that is clearly not always in the public interest is obsurd in a 21st century democracy, and if the beeb knew it was risking losing money, it would think twice about doing this sort of thing!

    The timing of this program was only ever going to have one effect. Shame on you BBC!!

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm absolutely disgusted by the BBC's actions in showing this panorama programme. How dare they turn round to 50 of the 60 million British public and say that this was in their best interests. They've probably robbed most of us from the only chance we would ever have to hold the most exciting competition in the world here in England.
    I'm sick of the BBC and I hope the backlash results in the BBC losing it's public funding forever, why should we pay for an organisation with so little regards for us and what we want.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    Please complete this poll as whether you think the BBC was right to broadcast the Panorama program yesterday

    http://www.pollpub.com/were-the-bbc-right-in-broadcasting-their-panorama-documentary-about-fifa-corruption-on-monday-2.aspx

  • Comment number 40.

    The British media will go after FIFA with a vengeance if England lose the bid

  • Comment number 41.

    This 'evidence' was an old spreadsheet and the programme could have been aired a year ago, or next week. Even a month ago would have given the team time to overcome some of the embarrassment. But no, the BBC had to do it 2 days before the vote to chase ratings. Thanks very much for spending our licence fee so wisely.

  • Comment number 42.

    David. You are a BBC employee. I wouldn't expect anything less than a stilted defence of the BBC's timing of their 'expose'. Of course the televising of such 'revelations' will harm our bid regardless of the big hitters we send. Cameron, Prince William and Beckham are pretty much on a hiding to nothing and those involved with the bid are justifiably upset at the BBC for undermining years of their hard work and effort.

    Just as sad is that my licence fee is paying for the red top style tittle-tattle broadcast yesterday. I do expect more for my buck than that. I also expect the journalists who are employed by the BBC to be able to spell correctly. It's corporation, not corperation.

    I look forward to reading a blog by a BBC reporter / editor that perhaps does not try to defend the indefensible. But then, that would provide some balance wouldn't it - and after recent debate about political balance, this wouldn't be in keeping with the BBC's present stance.

  • Comment number 43.

    The timing of the programme was irresponsible and, in my opinion, designed to get ratings - it give sthe FA an "out" for not winning the bid. It would ahve been far more effective if it had been done a year ago when this could have influenced the transparency of the process without being detrimental to the bid itself

    Will the BBC now do a similar investigation into the state of English Football in light of the problems at Portsmouth, Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday - my guess is that they won't as this could lead to them losing the contract for the premiership highlights

    As an aside - actually I hope we do win the did, we have the stadia and facilities to put on an event and having hosted the Olympics the expereicne of major international sporting events.

    And more pertinently it is just plain unfair that this country has not hosted it in 50 years

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    Will the moderators explain on why so many comments have been removed?

    Please not "because house rules were broken" but a description of what was the contravention of the rules

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm fully behind the England bid, hoping World Cup football can come to Milton Keynes.

  • Comment number 48.

    England doesn't need the World Cup. It already has world class football every weekend during the season with teams that people care about and feel passionate about when they lose.

    Who would care if we disbanded the England Team? The Players (Glad of the rest), The Fans (Rather watch the 39th Game), No only the FA to pay for Wembley. Plus the sooner we get rid of that brass band the better.


    But The UK needs this to complete the Golden Decade:
    - Royal Wedding
    - Olympics / Jubilee
    - Commonwealth Games
    - World Cup

    Back the bid!

  • Comment number 49.

    It's a pity the BBC and the Sunday Times hadn't acted sooner, the reaction of the FA has been one of a meek child pandering to the FIFA bully. It's disapointing to see so many willing to get the World Cup at any cost, even the freedom of speech.

    The English bid should be withdrawn and any other major sporting event, until the entire bidding process can be seen to be transparent. To see the likes of Cameron, Prince William, Beckham and other members of our bid team grovelling to certain FIFA members whose morals and ethics are at best highly questionable and at worst completely corrupt is frankly a sight I for one don't won't to see. End this farce and come home.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules. - I wonder if THIS comment will be removed?!?!?

  • Comment number 51.

    Please join my public facebook campaign on whether the BBC were correct in broadcasting the Panorama documentary.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_110668482336623

  • Comment number 52.

    Who governs Fifa? It's not shareholders, Governments aren't allowed to intervene in FAs. There's not regulatory bodies. The IOC has no control (that might be a good thing). They are not voted into power externally.

    The make all their money from selling comercial and broadcast rights to a competition they organise (note, not host or play in), nothing physical (excluding the trophy).

    I might just start my own Football Federation and see what kick backs I can get.

  • Comment number 53.

    Considering the BBC themselves admit that the airing of the show could not have any impact on the issues they were reporting on, the show itself moots any argument for the airing date being in the public's best interest and judging by the whiplash the BBC is now recieving, it seems quite blatantly clear that the public completly dissagrees with the decision, mooting the BBC's argument for the airing even further.

    Should it have been aired? Certainly, it is definitely in the public's best interest for that particular Panarama program to recieve air time "at some point", but was it in the public's best interest to air it 3 days before a world cup decision was to be made? Quite clearly not.

    All the calls for the BBC to be taken apart as a result of this a little over-dramatic, but clearly the people behind the decision making on when this particular program recieved air times should be shown the door.

  • Comment number 54.

    #37
    I'm absolutely disgusted by the BBC's actions in showing this panorama programme. How dare they turn round to 50 of the 60 million British public and say that this was in their best interests.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it was in the best interests of those in the UK outwith England and in the interests of the freedom of the press.

    Royals on a free lunch again..hope the English taxpayer is paying for them this time and not the rest of us.

  • Comment number 55.

    Maybe, just MAYBE I'm WAY off base here, BUT If england dont get the 2018 World Cup maybe its because there bid wasn't the best?

  • Comment number 56.

    David Bond, in your related blog earlier, you claimed the Panorama programme would not cost England the bid. Yet here you write of Jack Warner:
    "Warner controls at least two of the three votes from Concacaf. He is crucial to England's chances of getting the five or six votes they need to get through the first round. Without him, England cannot build momentum. If Warner reacts badly to Panorama's ticket-touting claims, then England are in real trouble".
    Rather inconsistent.

    The general mood of the nation seems to be that by all means air the programme, investigate FIFA and highlight their corrupt practices, but keep your powder dry a few days. This may seem a bit shallow but the benefits of winning the bid are obvious. The BBC's timing is equally obvious and it is being somewhat slippery in claiming it's in the public interest.

    We as a nation have spent a fortune on this bid to date and could benefit financially from winning it. Our economy needs the boost the related tourism would generate.

    Nobody apart from the BBC benefits from airing Panorama 3 days before the vote but we all could have benfited had they aired it next Monday instead.

    In that regard, the BBC has been rather arrogant and self indulgent and has massively misjudged the mood of the nation.

  • Comment number 57.

    If we do not win this bid then the BBC must take some of the blame? If not maybe we sould go down there and show them they are partly at fault!

  • Comment number 58.

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

  • Comment number 59.

    Waiting for David Bond to justify his articles to his employers.
    Licence fee payers. Thanks.

  • Comment number 60.

    As Mr Bridger said to Camp freddie in the Italian Job, "every one in the world is bent (corrupt).

    As long as the UK remains squeaky clean, no big competitions will come our way.

    We many be right in playing it straight, but every one else is doing what they can to win the bid, what ever it takes.

  • Comment number 61.

    Whilst I have no intention of saying something offensive, but considering BBC sport is self preserving at this time, there really is only one thing to say:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • Comment number 62.

    #2, 'Is there any point in commenting on this? David never replies and the posts are "moderated" to oblivion.'

    I love the way after this comment, 9 of the next 13 posts are "moderated". Ridiculous.
    And we don't have any replies yet from David. I think fraise has hit the nail on the head there.

    The BBC should never have aired that program when they did. What a way to ruin our chances, I reckon England must be the only country in the world where the press are happy to de-rail their bid. And what a way to thank the bid team for all the work they've put in for years.

  • Comment number 63.

    Just to give the conspiracy theorists a little food for thought, I actually have no problem with the Panorama programme or scheduling and yet one of my posts on Mr Bonds previous blog was also removed.

    Personally, I would absolutely love a World Cup in England. BUT I do not want to host the World Cup if it means kow-towing to an organisation that refuses to even take the basic and simple step of transparency in its most significant voting process.

    Frankly, the process of winning the votes required to host the World Cup seems to have much in common with a married man's sordid one night stand: he knows its dishonest, he knows he'll feel dirty in the morning, he knows its the wrong thing to do but he forgets his morality and goes ahead with it anyway.

  • Comment number 64.

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

  • Comment number 65.

    50. At 2:05pm on 30 Nov 2010, The HAM wrote:
    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules. - I wonder if THIS comment will be removed?!?!?

    =========================================================

    I've had a number of posts removed - I'm still trying to work out why. This is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    I agree with open and honest investigative journalism. That's part of the culture our parents fought to retain for this country and other areas of the world. However, the BBC should be open and honest about their reasoning for broadcasting this edition of Panorama 3 days before the World Cup 2018 vote takes place. They've had their information for some time, very little (if any) is really recent news, it is mainly regurgitated stories from the past. As it offers no help to the 2018 World Cup bid of the country that funds them, they should either of broadcast the details earlier when they had the information or delayed the broadcast 7 by days so as to keep any impact away from the vote and so not harm the chances of the 2018 World Cup by England. Even Murdoch published well in advance of the vote so FIFA could, and did take action prior to the vote. I'm sure the BBC, and many of it's staff, would want to participate in broadcasting the 2018 World Cup in England. What a chance to show their capabilities to the rest of the World. So, why harm the bid that has not harmed their journalism rather provides the potential to enable BBC to sell its capabilities to the world. BBC tell us honestly why you broadcast this information on the 29th November???

  • Comment number 67.

    If we get the World Cup for 2018 then we need to sort the team out. Capello should be sacked and replaced with a manager - doesn't matter of nationality, although English would be great - that would not be afraid to show the big stars the door.

    We need to build from now. All over 30 players should go and we want to bring the youth through, the same as Germany have done, and make sure the players know that when they have the ball, they are to do what they want with it, NOT TO HOOF IT. Once players are not afraid to hold the ball, then, and only then, will England prevail.

  • Comment number 68.

    63. At 2:25pm on 30 Nov 2010, Deep-heat wrote:
    Just to give the conspiracy theorists a little food for thought, I actually have no problem with the Panorama programme or scheduling and yet one of my posts on Mr Bonds previous blog was also removed.

    Personally, I would absolutely love a World Cup in England. BUT I do not want to host the World Cup if it means kow-towing to an organisation that refuses to even take the basic and simple step of transparency in its most significant voting process.

    Frankly, the process of winning the votes required to host the World Cup seems to have much in common with a married man's sordid one night stand: he knows its dishonest, he knows he'll feel dirty in the morning, he knows its the wrong thing to do but he forgets his morality and goes ahead with it anyway.

    ================================================

    I agree with you. FIIFA bleats on about being a 'not for profit' organisation and yet their officials are driven around in top of the range cars, with a whole troop of 'people' in tow. They stay in the best hotels and did you see that huge lighting contraption in the Panorama programme last night? Is that really necessary for a 'not for profit' organisation? There needs to be total transparency. At the moment things are singularly opaque!

  • Comment number 69.

    The bbc have every right for freedom of speech and to report issues which it percieves in the best interests of the country, but the panorama investigation brought forward nothing new, and most of it from the past. There was nothing new or interesting in this programme.

    Futhermore, if the bbc was acting in the best interest of the country they'd have given FIFA the information ages ago or shown the programme in advance so that FIFA could act on it. Instead they chose to show it when they'd get the most viewers and i thought the BBC was above sensationalist journalism, but unfortunately this doesn't appear to be the case.

    And I shall re-iterate what i've said in another David Bond blog before like many others have here, if the BBC is deserving of free speech then why can't it's website readers recieve the same courtesy.

    In response to #54, you clearly aren't english, but if you're british you should support our bid, like we supported glasgow receieving the commonwealth games for 2014.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi - please remember that everyone is welcome to discuss England's chances of being successful in their 2018 World Cup bid here, and we also will not delete posts that debate whether or not the BBC was right to broadcast the Panorama programme this week (unless those comments break any of our other house rules). But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. Thank you.

  • Comment number 71.

    Sensationalist journalism is right! Really disappointed with the BBC.

    Whatever happens, the FA or FIFA, the government or whoever makes the decision should not let BBC cover any future World Cup matches.

  • Comment number 72.

    Thought I'd check the 'House Rules' of this blog, it should be obvious why all of the moderation has taken place!

    We reserve the right to fail messages which:

    • Are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others

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    • Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, defamation and contempt of court.

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    • Are written in anything other than English - Welsh and Gaelic may be used where marked

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    We may also close comments on a post if we think the discussion has become irrelevant or out of date.

    We want to keep our blog as focused as possible. For this reason, messages not relevant to the post may be rejected.

    And so now you know why so many posts have been moderated!

  • Comment number 73.

    Logically speaking England should win the race to host the 2018 World Cup as we've already got most of the stadia built plus the infrastructure, whilst Englands just got full marks in their latest reports, whilst England's main rivals are way down the list, especially when you consider Russia will need a major construction project with all the stadia to be built, along with all the infrastructure needed, and with Spain and Portugal... well they could be the next two countries in line for multi billion Euro loans to help sort out their budget deficits, and the last thing they can then afford is having to spend bllions on stadia and infrastructure, as the two countries will be forced to CUT their deficits by not spending on major projects.

    But, unfortunately, FIFA are not known for making seemingly straight forward decisions, as due to the fact it is decided by 22/23 people, as the Sunday Times have proved, it gives too much power to those people, as they are open to 'incentives' for their vote, including the allegations of a 'deal' between Spain/Portugal and Qatar, to help each other out in their campaigns.

    There is a saying of 'Let the best side win', but unfortunately in this case, I do not think the best side will win.

  • Comment number 74.

    "But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. "
    Isn't that what the Panorama programme did?
    Double standards.

  • Comment number 75.

    StopPoliticalCorrectness wrote:

    "But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. "
    Isn't that what the Panorama programme did?
    Double standards.

    Well said!

  • Comment number 76.

    Can someone pleasee explain to me why it's a good thing for England to have the soccer world cup in 2018? It cost Germany over 3 billion euros in infrastructure costs to host it in 2006. No doubt it will cost us considerably more than that in 8 years' time. We've already got to pay for the Olympics in 2 years' time at a time when the country's not exactly flush with cash.

    Why, oh why, oh why do we think it's a good idea to pay for the privilege of hosting a mass of people and ensuring FIFA gets a tax free kitty of several billion pounds just so that they can watch 22 grown men boringly, aimlessly and pointlessly kick a little round ball around for 90 minutes on a number of occasions over a 4 week period?

    Let some other country go bankrupt with the expense of this futile exercise and watch it all on tv if you must.

    I've never liked Panorama until last night.

  • Comment number 77.

    70. At 2:57pm on 30 Nov 2010, Sport blog hosts wrote:
    Hi - please remember that everyone is welcome to discuss England's chances of being successful in their 2018 World Cup bid here, and we also will not delete posts that debate whether or not the BBC was right to broadcast the Panorama programme this week (unless those comments break any of our other house rules). But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. Thank you.

    ================================================

    Like another poster has commented. Wasn't the whole premise of the Panorama programme questioning the integrity of certain FIFA individuals and FIFA as an organisation itself. Pot, kettle, black springs to mind.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • Comment number 79.

    #74, '"But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. "
    Isn't that what the Panorama programme did?
    Double standards.'

    I'd love to hear what the BBC have to say to that...

  • Comment number 80.

    The fact so many comments have been removed speaks volumes. I have often wondered if the BBC considers it's license fee payer, when examining the ramifications of it's journalists output?

    The BBC hides behind phrases like "in the public interest" like the tabloids do. Anything to justify making the news, instead of reporting it.

    The BBC has no real interest in anything but itself. Which is why it goes down in the publics estimation year on year. Moderate that!

  • Comment number 81.

    Unbelievable double standards....we aren't allowed to question the integrity of our employees or organisation when you are questioning those of other employees or organisations. Please tell me that your tongue is firmly in your cheek when this was written,

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    definitely , a provocative programme , be sure the government will reign bbc as a revenge anyway they can and deservedly so , millions of football fans and great pr for uk going to waste , bbc has no shame im quite angry

  • Comment number 84.

    I suggest anyone not happy with the programme or timing for whatever reason complains officially, the BBC do take official complaints seriously - much more so than deleting posts on a blog...

  • Comment number 85.

    comment 3.32 very well said sir , this wont go away , expect beloved ratings to drop showing PUBLIC INTEREST

  • Comment number 86.

    would be good to see beckham on itv, expressing his disappointment , its not news that fifa is autonomous and that dirty deals are done , same as in politics and big business , would be a great lift for the country in these more difficult times , what a joke , this would never happen in brasil or any better country

  • Comment number 87.

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

  • Comment number 88.

    Thoroughly disgusted by the BBC.

    There is a time and a place for this sort of investigative journalism, and 1 week before the biggest football sporting decision of most of our lives, is not it.

  • Comment number 89.

    74 - "But we will fail any comments that speculate on the integrity of individuals, or organisations. "

    Isn't that what the Panorama programme did?"

    That, my frind, is what they call hitting the nail on the head!

    I've also not heard anyone from the BBC comment on the one thing that most people seem to be questioning.... Why now?

    We've known this program was coming for ages, and yet it was aired 3 days before the vote. It was aired at the worst possible time for our bid. I want to know why!

  • Comment number 90.

    The South Americans are backing Spain and Portugal (which is only natural given the historical, political and economic ties) and England WAS backed by CONCACAF and most of the Africans in the group of 24 for similar reasons. But the English media took out the Nigerian (sure England vote) from the panel, and are threatening to take out Concacaf voters and the other Africans. The story about the South Americans doesn't hurt anyone cause they were never going to vote for England and do not care what the English media say about them, really. To those who are complaining about deals behind the door etc, they're either hypocrites or just ignorant about how laws are passed in parliament (any country) or government policies are aligned. It is the same with Fifa and the English have more to lose with the English media going after Fifa members than the latter who are big egos that often care less about media in one country among 200.

  • Comment number 91.

    Dont see a problem with BBC's broadcast. If the claims and acusations are false then FIFA will not be swayed by a programme aired by one of the bidding nations. If TRUE then the bbc have addressed corruption in football at the highest level. Surely the integrity of the competition and those who govern it is FAR more important than Englands 2018 bid? All those that are throwing the toys out of the pram at the BBC should maybe consider the wider picture and not sacrifice morals for temporary glory!

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • Comment number 93.

    91. Spot on. Too many Little Englanders about.

  • Comment number 94.

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

  • Comment number 95.

    One television program will not change England's chances of hosting the world cup. If it does then all that will have been accomplished is that the panorama will have succeeded in proving that the voting process really does need to be seriously reformed.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • Comment number 97.

    All businesses that lose out when Russia/Spain wins should sue the Governors and the corporation, and end the whole jamboree once and for all.

    As I guess this won't happen, mass witholding of the ridiculous licence fee will have the same effect.

  • Comment number 98.

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

  • Comment number 99.

    67 - Capello will be long gone by 2018!

    Ofcourse hosting it will be our best chance of qualiflying for the World cup.

    From a football point of view it would be great to have a World cup but how much money would it all cost the taxpayer?

  • Comment number 100.

    We should ignore the 2018 and focus on 2022 World Cup instead. Let's face it, its dead in the water, besides it being too close to the Olympics 2012, and the funding has to be spaced out for our pockets. By the looks on their faces on Panorama, we haven't got a chance in Hell !!

 

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