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The highs and lows of a bidding process

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Roger Mosey | 11:08 UK time, Friday, 3 December 2010

More than enough words have been written about football and Fifa and the media and the World Cups of 2018 and 2022, so I'm not going to add much to those. But wearing my London 2012 hat, there were some issues arising this week that play into our story and how we deliver the Olympic Games.

I've written before about the importance of major events to national identity, and one obvious way that the IOC's 2012 decision changed things is that a country that expects to lose international contests suddenly became a winner.

So having gone through the failed Birmingham and Manchester Olympic bids along with the disappointment of the 2006 World Cup - not to mention the belief we never win the Eurovision song contest because people just don't like us - the successful London bid was transformational. Indeed, it was remarkable watching the crowds across England this week that their expectation was victory not the traditional "plucky losers" defeat.

The disappointment in London is evident after Russia's successful bid was revealed. Photo: PA


We now know how exceptional that campaign for 2012 was. Its cleverness was that for a city that had already held the Games twice, it was radical and insurgent. The emphasis on inspiring the youth of the world and on legacy and sustainability proved the difference from a Paris bid that felt more conservative and less exciting. Many of you still hate it, but the logo that followed fits the same narrative: it's not what you'd expect from the UK, and that idea also runs through the equally radical mascots. There is a Britain of heritage and teapots and thatched cottages and red, white and blue - but London 2012 is quite deliberately not in that space. Think pink, and one eye not two.

However, the 2012 success probably also sowed one or two myths about bidding processes. Tony Blair unquestionably outwitted Jacques Chirac in Singapore, but now everyone's wise to those tactics - and for Vladimir Putin not turning up was the new version of how to get attention. Then there's the presentations: they seem to count and genuinely sway votes among the bigger IOC electorate, and London's remains state-of-the-art for subsequent bid teams, but with the much smaller Fifa electorate their effect seems to be marginal or none.

So now we go forward without the full glow of the golden decade of sport that we had hoped for - though we still have major landmarks to come: Rugby World Cups in both codes, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Cricket World Cup in 2019. That really isn't a bad list considering that the world now has many more countries capable of staging major events, and when some potentially fantastic hosts like Spain and the United States have missed out on all recent World Cup and Olympics bids they've made.

But the main reaction here must be a sharpened determination to make London 2012 work and to show the rest of the globe what they might be missing in 2018. We did really well as a country in securing the Olympic Games, and the premium on delivering it successfully has now notched up just that little bit more.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.



    How do you begin to explain to the bitterley disappointed children in that picture how the World governing body of 208 country members are managed by 22 people who democratically vote with unbiased integrity to stage a tournament and then tell them about life in Russia and Qatar all in one conversation so that they can understand why their Nation is unsuitable to host such an event?

  • Comment number 3.

    It makes me laugh all this nonsense. first of all why does England assume it should host the world cup? fair enough the stadiums are good but why not let a new country take it?
    Also all these calls for reform from various FA bigwigs-would they be calling for reform had they won the bid? I think not. All would be hearing in that instance would be "fifa is great" and lets not forget the rather boring "its coming home"-no its not!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Forget 2012 for the moment. The world cup bid outcome was only yesterady and needs to be discussed. I’m very disappointed by the BBC. Not least for not provding a dedicated blog to discuss that outcome today. Why not after the previous blogs leading up to the decsion? Too much criticism aimed at the BBC and wider media?

  • Comment number 5.

    Yesterday must surely rank as the lowest point in England`s 60 year World Cup history.

    Humiliation on the field during last June was bad enough to digest, but yesterday`s massive rejection off the field was like being lined up for a turkey-shoot.

    It started with gushing praise as being hailed as one of the pioneers of the modern game, and culminated with the absolute humiliation of receiving just ONE measly international vote.

    It was an absolutely jaw-dropping decision by FIFA to vote England`s bid as rock bottom!

  • Comment number 6.

    There is a Britain of heritage and teapots and thatched cottages and red, white and blue - but London 2012 is quite deliberately not in that space. Think pink, and one eye not two.
    --------------------------------------------

    What an anglo-centric artile this is, full of spin. You write like the quote above of aspects of English national idenity.

    Britain is a STATE Roger comprised of different 'Nations' (excluding NI which is not a nation at all!).

    London 2012 is all about the South-East of England Roger. Is this what the rest of the UK would be missing if England had won in 2018? Great to miss it thanks

  • Comment number 7.

    once again we see the "football's coming home" mentality.It is sad to read of the writer's inability to see the difference between England and the UK . I suspect the teapots and thatched cottages are somewhere in middle England. The mentality that surrounds the London 2012 Olympics thus is very England and London centric . Lets hope that the capital really does gets its transport act sorted out and that these games will truly be something to be proud of

  • Comment number 8.

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  • Comment number 9.

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  • Comment number 10.

    I think there has been a strong smell of sour grapes from the English media regarding this decision to give Russia the 2018 WC. There is a lot of talk of England having the best technical and economic reports from FIFA but if that was the sole basis used then the same half dozen countries would take turns hosting every four years. FIFA have done the right thing by brining the WC to new territories for the first time.

    I know many in this country will believe that the FIFA board voted based on who gave the biggest bung but for most people around the world this was the best decision for football.

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    DelaneyVonTrap wrote:
    I think there has been a strong smell of sour grapes from the English media regarding this decision to give Russia the 2018 WC. There is a lot of talk of England having the best technical and economic reports from FIFA but if that was the sole basis used then the same half dozen countries would take turns hosting every four years. FIFA have done the right thing by brining the WC to new territories for the first time.

    I know many in this country will believe that the FIFA board voted based on who gave the biggest bung but for most people around the world this was the best decision for football.
    ___________________________________________
    Speak for yourself!!!! not the rest of the people around the world Mate!!

  • Comment number 13.

    It is sad we did not win but I think we need to temper our reaction and have a sensible discussion about what we do in the future. Here are my comments/observations:

    1. It is a bit rich for England fans to make allegations about bribery. A Russian or Qatari delegate might say when we are being hypocritical - they might point to the allegations that BAE Systems paid millions in bribes to win contracts from the Saudi's, the PM then closed down the criminal investigation and the royal family wass sent to smooth things over with the House of Saud. In the last week we have had stories of another royal running around the world as a "trade representative" telling everyone bribery is fine.

    2. The problem with English football is the FA. It is filled with under qualified time servers. All aspects for which they are responsible will not improve until that fundamental issue is addressed. It is a shame none of our highly paid football pundits seem to have the courage to lead such a campaign or even speak out on the issue.

    3. For the future of football England leading a campaign to clean up FIFA would be far more important than winning the right to host a World Cup. It seems to me that people the likes of Dein, Anson, Shearer, Beckham, Linneker and Cameron are apparently unable to grasp that fundamental point.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Afghanistan in 2026...Malta 2030...somalia 2034" fifa, what a farce

  • Comment number 15.

    Contrary to some people's opinions I think England have as much right as anyone to feel disappointed by not getting to host the 2018 WC. Questioning the reasons for the failure isn't always 'sour grapes' as suggested - it's actually quite healthy and will go on in any country. The 'new frontiers' arguement is valid but then why let England, Spain, U.S.A, South Korea and Japan waste so much time and money bidding in the first place?

    ...By the way Brazil - the next hosts - have already held the tournament once before.

    Qatar are dismantling many of their stadia and shipping them abroad...any bidders??

  • Comment number 16.

    By the way Roger this blog is not about the UK its about England: a sop to a real blog on you losing the bid.

    Sour grapes or the grapes of wrath? Both?

    Hell hath no fury like fans led to believe they are getting the WC and then they don't.

    Seriously, hard luck on your bid but really while you were technically good, your bid had no big selling point: it was not being used to expand planet football; and there was no 'new country' getting the WC for the first time.

    Next time be a bit more creative and perhaps involve your Celtic neighbours in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, none of whom have had a WC. Oh yes that's right, you went for it alone!

    Yes FIFA need greater transparency in the bid process and need a set of guidelines like the IOC.

    When John McBeth ex-of the Scottish Football Association was booted out of FIFA for alleging corruption, no English journalists picked up the story apart from Andrew Jennings. Jack Warner commented about his replacement, Geoff Thompson of the English FA, that here was a man he could do business with. The very silent Geoff Thompson...

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    *compliant

  • Comment number 19.

    There are some truly ridiculous comments on here. Linking the world cup bid to BAE systems. Allegations that England think they have a god given right to host the world cup. All crazy but perhaps not as crazy as Fifa's decision to host the 2022 world cup in Qatar. Football is being turned into a joke by the people that run it.

    And in answer to 3.leftson if England had won the bid then there may have been no need to call for reform as the system may actually of been shown to be fair as the best bid would of won. Had spain/ Portugal won i could say the same thing. However i can swallow the Russia victory. Its the Qatar bid that really irritates me. Taking the game to a new audience when only 600'000 people live there - give me a break!

    Even if that is true and money hasn't talked why didn't Fifa say 'we want to take the world cup to new countries' and save us wasting our time.

  • Comment number 20.

    i think we all have to blame the fa.the fa is at fault that we have capello.a manager who obviously lost the plot since the start of the wc.who gets paid ridiculously much money and was recommended by SAF.
    and now they have paid 15 mio pounds for a bid which was no good from the beginning .it was so obvious that even members of the fifa told the fa they wouldnt win it if they didnt change their bid.
    and what did the fa do?they sucked up to everyone at fifa.and fifa then realised that the fa is a bunch of loosers working in a incestious system.so they took the mickery out of the fa by telling them everything is working alright for them.
    after russia won the vote you should have seen the faces of cameron,prinz william and some of the fa guys.all faces were red-filled with shame and they knew they were twisted.poor dumb fa.i mean,its the same buisness who asked a scottish if capello was the right manager to take us to glory.does anyone realy believe that SAF wants england to win the wc?
    the bid counted on the fa raising the most money for fifa and having the best stadiums in the world.if thats english football , then i watched something completly differnt the past 20 years.the bid should have relied on our diverse kids, families and fans.they are those who create this unique atmosphere in and around the stadiums and in our daily lifes and they fill the stadiums.
    for example ,the dutch/belgian offered 2 mio free bikes for every fan.that is agood idea.a typical dutch/belgian thing .and they should have won it if we were in nice world.
    and in the end Andy Anson was right.he said: " i think , they didnt like us."
    damm wright.i dont like you too.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    One thing people need to think about is what kind of a 'customer' FIFA is seeking.

    I saw a few people in my time who had similar traits to FIFA and what I learned is that there is a time when you appear to be doing well with them and then there comes a point when you have outlived your usefulness to them.

    My assessment is that FIFA, as it currently is, doesn't see England as a high priority. Or FIFA was testing England to see how it reacted to suffering the same fate as Paris in 2005. From which it could either back a future England bid next time in Europe or cast them asunder.

    Which means England has three choices:
    1. It sits things out.
    2. It learns from this one and gets it right next time, which won't be done the same way the last two campaigns were done as that way doesn't work.
    3. It actively seeks to reform FIFA to reflect the modern world.

    My choice is for number 3, but it is for the powers that be in the English game to decide all that..........

  • Comment number 23.

    OK...I'll attempt to use more restrained language.

    This wouldn't be the first example I've seen of a whistleblower being lynched. The only potential negative mark our bid could possibly have had against it were the media investigations into FIFA!

    The idea that we were anhiliated on those grounds is extra-gutting!

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    As much as I would have liked to have a World Cup here I think it is probably best if our attitudes to how football is run and our place in it change. The fall-out has also reveal some of the underlying national prejudices that are still inherent. I truly dislike Blatter but expanding the World Cup to other countries is a good policy to have. I wrote a piece a while back regarding the status of the British in the hierarchy of football a while back, which you are welcome to read if you wish.

    http://goodfeetforabigman.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/ifab-last-bastion-of-the-empire/

    That said the voting process also needs to change. Surely having a larger electorate would be a good idea. Then each vote is worth less and there would be less incentive for corruption. If there were 500 votes then each country could have a vote and maybe even the head of the various supporters groups from each nation could have one too. Obviosuly practical difficulties with it but worth a thought. I doubt Blatter would want to lessen his grip that he currently has with the members though.

  • Comment number 26.

    I was very impressed with England's bid and do feel that if they had won they would have put on an excellent show. However, I am interested how no one has picked up on the scenes at Birmingham City the night before Becks, Cameron, and the future King took to stage. This along with the media scandal surely had an impact!!

  • Comment number 27.

    The WC in Russia, okay disappointing but believable.

    The WC in Qatar, now that reeks of foul play and the simple fact that a country like Qatar, that is backwards and subversive, is a DISGRACE to football.

  • Comment number 28.

    I feel ripped off that the criteria for the winning bid changed from technical requirement to the now obvious 'new frontier' criteria.

    I think this was deliberate ploy to up the ante & get quality bids from established football nations for the non football nations to attempt to match.

    Put it this way, if established football countires were not going to be considered, so obviously wouldn't waste their time with a bid...then what would the quality of Russia's bid been like if they knew they only had to beat Somalia, Afganistan & Malta!

    Having said that...we DO have new frontiers right under our noses which would have been a big selling point to FIFA. England's bid should have included Scotland & Wales & maybe even NI...with semi-finals in Scotland & Wales/NI & final at Wembley.

    Surely our neighbours would cooperate cause we'd ALL get automatic qualification!

    But our bid's big selling point, greeted by the whole world & simply irresistable to FIFA would be our UK bid's campaign slogan...



    'ANYONE BUT ENGLAND'

  • Comment number 29.

    Yesterday i was angry and my comments would most certainly have been removed so well done for not doing this sooner!

    However i have had some time to reflect and Russia getting the bid is good for moving the WC to new regions although i will always hold that the event itself would have been better in England for a number of reasons.

    1. Less travel (Russia not Qatar)
    2. Better atmosphere
    3. Full stadiums guaranteed at every game
    4. Top infrastructure, stadia etc and recognised e.g Old Trafford, Wembley etc
    5. Amazing nightlife in England, great clubs and all the bars and pubs would have been buzzing!

    However fair play to the Russians and Qatar but i cling to these downsides;

    1. The Stadiums will not be filled, same as SA.
    2. Travelling will be fine in Qatar but awful in Russia that place is enormous.
    3. Atmosphere will be poorer in comparison to a WC in England in both countries
    4. Climates in both countries hardly ideal and the Qatar cooling system is going to have to be damn good otherwise some athletes will die from heat exhaustion.

    To sum up fair play to the host nations but the event as a sporting spectacle will not be the same, the less meaningful games will be poorly attended and i expect all the tickets will go to corporate non-fans for thousands who don't really care an iota about football.

    Oh and Panorama, well done, that lost at least 1-2 votes but hey ho, parts of the english media are like vultures picking the flesh of corpses. Wake up, free speech is all well and good but sometimes i'd like to see some of these people put out of their misery by a firing squad.

  • Comment number 30.

    25. At 4:57pm on 03 Dec 2010, Graham wrote:

    As much as I would have liked to have a World Cup here I think it is probably best if our attitudes to how football is run and our place in it change. The fall-out has also reveal some of the underlying national prejudices that are still inherent. I truly dislike Blatter but expanding the World Cup to other countries is a good policy to have. I wrote a piece a while back regarding the status of the British in the hierarchy of football a while back, which you are welcome to read if you wish.

    http://goodfeetforabigman.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/ifab-last-bastion-of-the-empire/

    That said the voting process also needs to change. Surely having a larger electorate would be a good idea. Then each vote is worth less and there would be less incentive for corruption. If there were 500 votes then each country could have a vote and maybe even the head of the various supporters groups from each nation could have one too. Obviosuly practical difficulties with it but worth a thought. I doubt Blatter would want to lessen his grip that he currently has with the members though.

    --------------

    It could have all been very different if Lennart Johansson had been elected as FIFA President rather than Sepp Blatter. Mr Johansson, former President of UEFA, was seen as a friend to the Football Association. He stood up for England when its clubs were banned from European club competitions following the tragedy at the Heysel Stadium in 1985. During the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup, it was made clear by several of the Executive Committee members that a condition of their support and vote would be backing Sepp Blatter instead of Lennart Johansson. The English team duly obliged and Mr Blatter got their vote. All of the other caveats, such as Manchester United forfeiting entry into the FA Cup in order to play in the inaugural World Club Championship, were all adhered to, and yet the votes to host the 2006 World Cup never came. Politics at work and it cost England.

    Something similar happened yesterday. And it will continue to happen while the decision is made by such a small number of people.

    There are 208 National Associations within the FIFA family. Therefore, isn't 208 members with 208 individual votes a fair solution?

    Not that it would ever happen under Blatter's watch...

  • Comment number 31.

    For England to have won the World Cup vote, it would have had to overturn many problems facing our game and the worlds.

    First off, the Lord Triesmann statement of last year about SpainPortugal and Russia. This lives long in the memory.

    Secondly, our footballers constantly ending up on world web sites and newspapers being featured for anything but football. Other than an ongoing problem in France, I am not aware of any scandals from other country's footballers.

    Thirdly, the widespread discussion regarding FIFA corruption in the British media.

    Fourthly, the idiocy of Birmingham and Villa fans facing off the night before the vote. The 'English Disease' is alive and well the world will see.

    Fifthly, the tangled referree in the WC final this year being roundly condemned for his handling of the game, yet seen as a giant over here (personally I think he did a good job but two of the competing nations against England thought he was dire).

    And finally, our Keep Calm and Carry on approach after all the above shows little reflection and contemplation from our FA, our Government, the PFA and the behaviour of its members and the media who report on the nefarious activities of the above.

    If you dont want to end up in the papers, dont do silly or illegal stuff. When all aspects of our game grow up and behave like adults, then we may see a World Cup in England/Britain. But it looks like I'll be dead by then.

  • Comment number 32.

    It was written on Dan Walker's blog yesterday - before it was unceremoniously pulled - that the BBC pretty much knew the outcome of the votes before they even happened, and that the full story is to be aired on Football Focus tomorrow.

    If this is the case, why did the BBC sit on this information until yesterday, allowing in the region of £15m to be tossed away?

    Just one more shocking episode of this complete and utter farce which no doubt the BBC, chip on shoulder ever-growing, will pass off in its own inimitable style.

    And all the while, the justification of the licence fee grows ever smaller.

  • Comment number 33.

    Isn't it interesting that, before the bid, the FA were confident of winning; and, after they received TWO votes, they are now crying foul ? If they thought the bidding process was unfair, they should have withdrawn the bid in protest before the vote, not complain afterwards. The fact is that the FA is in a shambles.

  • Comment number 34.

    A lot of robust views so far - and thanks for all the comments.

    On the ones about my comments and the BBC:

    #6, #7 and #16 - I don't think there's anything particularly English about teapots! The UK Tea Council certainly believes tea is a Scottish beverage too http://www.tea.co.uk/news-article/Scotlands-Top-Tearooms - and there are thatched cottages in all of the nations.

    The serious point, of course, is that we're working hard to make London 2012 something that's celebrated across the UK. Olympic Football takes place in both Glasgow and Cardiff, so it has the potential to be a lot more inclusive than an England-only World Cup.

    #4 and others: two BBC programmes Feedback on Radio 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006slnx and Newswatch on the BBC News Channel/BBC One http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/default.stm are there as part of our accountability, and are covering the World Cup story. Plus we have the usual Have Your Say service http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/12/russia_and_qatar_win_world_cup.html




  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    (1st line!) *can't

  • Comment number 37.

    Who cares.....It's been nothing but EMGLAND ENGLAND ENGLAND for the last few months, lets hope with this latest disapointment you'll start to realise the world doesn't revolve around you lot!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Gonna be brutally honest here, I apologize ahead of time for any who may be offended... Get over it. Thank you England for inventing the game, but other than offering foreign players a chance to get big pay checks at a mediocre to sub standard club team, barely anything has been contributed to the sport lately from England. If anything the world was spared with the world cup not being hosted in England because the 1966 world cup was one of the most controversial of all.(Portugal's game with England being switched to London at the last second along with their hotel, resulting in the players being kept up all night long by English fans, just to name one example.) Russia at least is some place new, and it's a country that has been making huge strides in football lately, especially it's league. Having a world cup in England may have been a great historical tribute paying respects to the "cradle of the game", but that's where the benefits end. Obviously I'm not happy that Portugal and Spain didn't get the world cup, but I'm happy with the result and have no bitterness or complaints about it. Congrat's Russia.

  • Comment number 39.

    Am I missing something? We are promoting anti racism and now (thankfully) anti homosexuality in football. So we now have a country hosting the competition in 2018 that has deep seated problems with both these issues and one in 2002 where homosexuality is actually illegal. Is someone having a laugh at basic human rights? Sorry I forgot about making money...

  • Comment number 40.

    I think some people are getting carried away with how good an English World Cup would be. Remember Euro 96, it didn't exactly revolutionise the English game or European football. In fact the quarter final between France and Holland didn't even sell out! 37000 turned up to Anfield.

    Plus these questions of passion are ridiculous, the Middle East loves football! The highest attendance for a World Cup qualifying match was in Iran and that's a country where only men can go watch. Imagine if women could too...

    Qatar is not a repressive state, its "sharia" laws really only apply to divorce and family law so unless you're getting married there it shouldn't be an issue. In Qatar you can drink (sort of, special outlets for westerners and monied folk), plus with the increased liberalisation of this samll emirate it will become much more liberal by 2022. The current king has been in power since 1995 and in that time has transformed the country. Give him another 12 years and it could be even more liberal.

    I feel we are more angry at these bids than the rest of the world, mostly due to sour grapes. Eastern Europe will be delighted, the Middle East will be delighted and so will many others.

  • Comment number 41.

    #34
    Wow Roger, Olympic football in Glasgow..now if I can only tear myself away from doing the dishes I'll come along..

    Like I said its all about the South-East of England mate and there is no kidding the rest of the country on..

  • Comment number 42.

    There are some salutory reminders for London 2012 from last week's FIFA debacle:

    1. The facilities to help the athletes to perform at their best are absolutely paramount.
    2. Fantastic atmospheres on the field of play is what spectators and telly viewers want.
    3. People should be able to expect a warm welcome wherever they're from.
    and
    4. The home nation football associations simply can't afford to take the risk in fielding a "British" side. FIFA cannot be trusted.

  • Comment number 43.

    Simply the england bid should have at least used one of the other celtic nations. The whole point in giving the world cup to russia and quatar is to try and increase football popularity in countries that it is not the dominant sport. Can understand the dissappointment about losing the bid but some of the excuses are just silly. Fair play england might have had the best 'technical' bid but if u think about it some of the england fans leave a bit to be disired when it comes to their behaviour, invading the pitch to taunt the opposition fans, trashing lisbon during euro 2004 etc. A majority of the fans are good yes, but if you think about it, whats stopping there being trouble if it is held in england. Picture the moment when england, inevitably, crash out of their own world cup, their latest 'golden generation' having failed to fulfill the ridiculous expectations of the fans, chaos would happen!! Co-operate with the other celtic nations for the next bid and there is a chance if could do better. At the very least every scotland match would be a sellout.

  • Comment number 44.

    Tangledwebb has nailed the some of the reasons that the bis failed. With trouble at the brummy derby everyone was given another excuse not to vote for england. If you can't keep the 'english diseae' away from league and cup games, then what makes the selectors think; after the latest 'golden generation' fail in the fans expectations of winning the cup, despite not having the quality cos of the huge amounts of foriegn players in the premeriship, that the fans wouldn't kick off again and cause more trouble, remember lisbon 2004?? Of course a large majority of the fans are good and repectful but as it has been said many times before the actions of a few are letting down those of the majority. In my opinion the bid should have included hampden, the millenium stadium and croke park as venues aswell so that all the celtic countries could have felt the benefit of having the event. For the other countires to use howard webbs, very good performance in the world cup kickboxing match for holland, against england clearly showed that they feared englands bid so a couple tweaks here and there and i think the cup is yours.

  • Comment number 45.

    As FIFA have rejected England's bid for the 2018 World Cup why don't the Olympic games 2012 organisers make Olympic Football a much bigger event. If all the major footballing nations in the world were invited to send their full strength national squads it would be as good as the World Cup. If this were to continue in future Olympic games it could have the effect of marginalising FIFA.
    England wouldn't be able to enter of course, it would have to be a Great Britain team. The prospect of Gareth Bale playing wide on the left of a GB team sounds quite exciting.

  • Comment number 46.

    David B in #45: well, Harry Redknapp seems to have repeatedly expressed an interest in managing the London 2012 GB football team:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1327808/Tottenham-boss-Harry-Redknapp-targets-Olympic-manager-position.html

    And there was a newspaper story a week or so ago saying Gareth Bale fancies Olympic Gold:

    http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/sport-confidential/2010/11/28/tottenham-s-gareth-bale-dreams-of-2012-olympic-gold-102039-22745628/

    But I'm not sure how this squares with Team GB in 2012 being organised exclusively by England without any of the other home nations contributing?

  • Comment number 47.

    Firstly top marks to the BBC for sticking up for it's journalistic rights last week over Panorama.

    Secondly - yes, there are issues with the FIFA system (but heck, all voting systems are flawed somewhere) and of course the drop from 4 to 2 for Holland/Belgium showed tactical voting at play to eliminate England (I think we saw something similar to eliminate Chicago in the race for 2016).

    However, the FA is not completely blameless in this. The bid didn't seem to have anywhere near as much publicity as the London bid - so it was difficult to show if the nation was behind it. Some members of the bid team were particularly arrogant too, with statements such as "FIFA should be begging us to host" - and also they didn't sell what an England hosted World Cup could do for football - it was all about what football could do for the World Cup.

    And finally - although the selection of Russia and Qatar might suggest otherwise, IMO there is little doubt England's poor performance on the pitch didn't help matters too. When the team itself never even meets it's own expectations of course that could put a question mark over whether the expectations of England 2018 could have been met too - despite the UK's pretty much impeccable record at hosting major sporting events.

 

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