BBC BLOGS - David Bond
« Previous | Main | Next »

FA faces questions over 2018 World Cup bid

Post categories:

David Bond | 14:12 UK time, Saturday, 4 December 2010

Roger Burden is seen by many as a principled man. The acting FA chairman was also seen as the favoured candidate to land the job full time early in the new year.

His decision to withdraw his application because he feels he cannot trust Fifa in the wake of England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup is entirely understandable in the circumstances.

His sour views about the Fifa members who betrayed the England bid will also be shared by many other football leaders and fans in the country.

But if he or the FA think that it will make even the slightest difference to the way Fifa works then they are likely to be disappointed.

And as the FA attempts to put pressure on Fifa, some may reflect that it is exactly this type of attitude that has made English football an outsider in the world governing body's corridors of power.

So, as the FA tries to keep the focus on Fifa's shortcomings, questions are beginning to be asked about its own role in Thursday's humiliation.

Of course there is little anyone can do if someone says they are going to vote for you and then place a cross against another country's name.

But were the bid team naïve to believe that just because members told them they were going to vote for them that they would actually go through with it?

Exactly the same thing happened in the failed 2006 bid. Why weren't the mistakes of that campaign learned?

Given how strong the anti-English feeling in Fifa was, how did England's bid team come to believe they had a chance in the last two days before the decision - especially after the Panorama programme exposing alleged corruption by three members of the Fifa executive committee?

Did they risk humiliating Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William by thinking they could really win?

Did they misread president Sepp Blatter's power within Fifa and his clear desire to give the World Cup to Russia?

And did they fail to understand Russian Prime Minsiter Vladimir Putin's decision not to come to Zurich before the vote?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, and while no one can fault how hard they worked in the last few weeks, it does seem the bid team have some questions to answer.


Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    it is a real shame that the World Cup won't be coming to England, but best of luck to Russia, I'm sure it will be a great tournament. I just hope the World Cup will come back to England in my lifetime!

  • Comment number 2.

    I think that they nothing to answer for, it seems that they did everything as well as they possibly could and the fact that they mis-read people near the end shouldn't distracting us from the fact that the voting system is a farce (hope thats not too strong to get me moderated)

    The FA should be taking a stronger stand and looking to see if any other major countries in Europe have an equally dim view of Fifa.

  • 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.

    If they 'failed to understand' Putin's decision they were far from the only ones, as absolutely everyone including the BBC seemed not to know what exactly was going on there.

    Hindsight is everything with that one, I feel.

  • Comment number 6.

    David - The FA have no idea at all on how to deal with FIFA, this latest move by Roger Burden just underlines how much 'out of touch' our football supremo's are in this country. If we accept out 2018 bid was technically the best, then we must accept that our 'game plan' for landing the bid must have been the worst. To go out on the first vote was shameful for a country like ours and everyone of the FA senior members should resign, enmass, not as some sort of a threat to FIFA, but as an act of 'mea culpa' to the long suffering English football fans. Of course the likliehood of that happening is almost on a par with our bid being successful, because according to the FA its everybody elses fault that England lost the bid for 2018 WC - but their own!

  • Comment number 7.

    So we should turn on the FA rather than FIFA? Patriotic as ever I see, BBC.

    I think a vote where 40% of the voters vote purely based on who they've colluded with, 45% vote on whoever Blatter "persuades" them to vote for, and maybe one or two vote for who they actually think is the best bid, is no vote at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    I dont really see your point of view, if someone promises to vote for you, and pledges the alliance with you how can you not except it and expect them to follow through on their promise. If that is the case and they have lied to you what do you do as in the case here. Politics paid a big part of this, and yes as it has been shown time and time again we are not playing the politics correctly. Obviously the English media has not helped the situation how ever truthful it was. What I hope now happens is that the English Media steps up to the plate and follows these allegations through. We shall see, the only question which needs answering here, is learn from the mistakes and infiltrate the high ranks of FIFA. Its a mans club, and were are still playing nice in the park.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why have the FA got anything to answer for? The voting committee have had quite a good bit of time to decide who gets their votes, if close to voting time, a member of FIFA tells our guys they will get his vote, why on earth would you disbelieve him?

    I think Mr Burden has done the right thing, and public criticism is his only form of redress to the people who lied.

    I'm not sure that a splinter organisation would work, we are not that good a team in world affairs, but certainly give the investigative journalists their head....

  • Comment number 10.

    That we lost the bid is one thing, no sour grapes there, but the fact that we did not secure the votes that were promised to us only highlights the incredibly controversial nature of the World Cup bidding process.

    What criteria do they use to form opinions on which to base their (FIFA) votes ? if the FIFA members do not give more transparency to how they decide to vote, then speculation about the standard procedure for such matters will be in dispute. It does not do them any favours with corruption reports and broken promises.

    I feel that the world should ignore FIFA and begin a new phase of the World Cup rights tenancy. They may have a few more years of licenced ownership rights, but the days of the FatCat Fifa gravy train must come to a grinding halt.

    These 22 members of an elitist club should not be allowed to continue their candidacy, its a disgrace to the Worlds favourite sport that an existence like this should prevail, when the world is in economic turmoil. That the bid went to Quatar is enough proof to me that Fifa are only interested in one thing, and that's not the common welfare of Football, but of the size of their own pockets.

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    Well, i read another opinon piece this morning, which completely ignores the fact that fifa exco members blamed the media, the president warned of the evils of the media. They were strung along too satisfy the vanity of fifa with lies, they were not humiliated as the british media keeps insisting, they were screwed over.
    I can't blame you guys, but at least recognise the media was a factor, then when you blame everyone else i may be able too respect your views. Because now, when we really need the media too expose the short-cummings within fifa, your bolt is shot.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    If FIFA wanted to take the world cup to new parts of the world such as Russia and Qatar and its obvious they wanted to do so, why did they even bother letting England, Spain, USA, Australia, Japan & S.Korea bidding and spending 2 years doing so all while spending millions and millions of pounds

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry, but I feel it is not about reading the 'signs', doing deals and going cap-in-hand. Who wants to be a part of such a secretative orgainisation unless you are a free-mason. England should seriously consider breaking away to create a new modern organisation. FIFA hates us deeply so we will never be seen as an equal partner. It has gone too far. Be strong for we are a great footballing nation!

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    Flyinghigh i agree a breakaway would be good should the major footballing nations come with us, aswell as the clubs. The only way to tempt the top clubs would be to form a european super league offering more money however this time it could be invested right and the only way to tempt south america would be to offer brazil the first world cup of the new organisation. If it was formed with the help with the worlds largest media outlets I feel it could be possible.

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    David - People still seem to be standing somewhat 'open-mouthed' saying things like, "well if someone promises to vote for you then votes differently when it comes to it, there is not much you can do about it" -What planet are they living on for goodness sake, they should ask our politicians how many times thev had heard that one before?
    Lets all understand the fact that FIFA bidding process is not an open straightforward bidding process at all, it never has been. Since Mr Blatter has been in charged at FIFA the WC has nearly always gone to somewhere were they have never held it before - there have always been risks, as with SA this year, but most of the time the bids were successful anyway. Sepp Blatter is out to take football to the masses, wherever they may be, in particular those who have little else in their lives to look forward to! Winning a WC bid gives hope to millions in countries were otherwise such people are all but forgotten, or in places like Russia will help spread some of the wealth around what is in fact a continent. Whether we consider these things as 'noble endeavours' or not; whether we consider FIFA members are underhanded about their promises to vote for us, or not, really does not matter, we have to stop behaving like 'suckers' and then maybe people will stop treating us like we are.

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Russia was always going to get the 2018 World Cup because Blatter wanted to just like the 2010 WC in SA.

    There's no point in bidding unless you are the country Blatter wants.

    The only thing you can blame the FA for is not realising this before they made a bid

  • Comment number 23.

    By most accounts, England's was about the best bid, with maybe the best presentation, so what does the bid team have to answer for, exactly? It turns out that we never had a chance of hosting the WC. Whether the reason is FIFA politics, corruption, or whatever.. I don't know. I just hope the voting system is changed, and that we get a fair shake. I'd love to see us host the WC in my lifetime. Unless the voting system is overhauled I don't see the point in bidding again, frankly!

  • Comment number 24.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else feel it could be down to the english fa's arrogance that has scuppered the bid. The sooner the FA get down from their high horse and stop this "We are England, with the best league in the world and we deserve everything" attitude, the better.
    It was not the English FA's god given right to hold the tournament and the sooner this is understood the better.

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

    It strikes me that the bid team misunderstood the requirement. In business, if you are considering whether to tender for a contract you ask yourselves 3 questions: Can we do the job? Can we win the job? Can we make a profit? For this bid the latter is irrelevent but clearly England could do this job. Could they win it? Again hindsight is great but Fifa seemed to want to place the WC2018 with a country where the competition would actively support and encourage development of the game. In UK, football is already pretty developed, we have the best professional league and we have active support right down to Junior and Youth local leagues. By and large we also have excellent facillities through the country. Therefore, again in business speak, we could not deliver a key customer requirement. Ergo, No-Bid decision would have been the right thing to do. I am gald that my business did not throw £15m at a job we couldn't win.

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't think that the recent press and TV revelations concerning corruption amongst FIFA Executive members made any difference, in the sense that Russia was always going to win the vote, particularly as they have never hosted a World Cup. I think Putin played a blinder and our Prime Minister demeaned himself. He has better things to do in this time of economic crisis.

  • Comment number 29.

    The English media and public can cry cheat all they want. The rest of the world simply doesn't care what England think - get over it England because football isn't coming home. The rest of the world weren't going to roll over because the future King of England, Beckham et al were representing England - if anything their arrogance was a hinderance!

  • Comment number 30.

    I genuinely want to know what can be done about Blatter and his FIFA cronies.
    23 non accountable individuals should not have the power to award such a prestigious tournament. I am not a royalist, I am no fan of David Beckham and I am certainly not a Conservative, but to see three of my fellow countrymen humiliated like that in front of the World Press was appalling.
    The whole process is open to corruption.
    If our free press are as good as they claim to be they should now substantiate the claims made just prior to this mockery of a voting process. If our precious media men cannot substantiate their claims then they should take their proportion of the blame for losing us the bid. So come on you journalists out there 'unleash the dogs of war' and chase Blatter and his conspirators out of their Swiss headquarter and give the game back to the people.
    The FA have been a bunch of wind bags for my entire life. The most we can expect from them is a stiff letter or a impolite tut in an inappropriate arena. Football needs a revolution and the crinkly old farts at the FA could not mount a pavement, never mind a revolution.

  • Comment number 31.

    I would rather ask, What were the criteria laid down by FIFA for applications for the 2018 World Cup ?
    On this basis which country met the required criteria ?
    The choice to choose the candidate for the 2022 World Cup was rather strange.
    Time for the Home and Origins of the game, England , to be less apologetic and start to flex its moral muscle.
    So lets begin with TV and a fourth Ref to decide like rugby.
    Jules and Sir Stanley must be rolling in their grave.

  • Comment number 32.

    We lost. Time to get over it.

  • Comment number 33.

    The arrogance of some of the comments here is breathtaking. What divine right does the UK have to host the games? The Fifa members can vote for whoever they like.

    Welcome to the brutal realities of Fifa politics. Britain was among the small group of countries that voted against Blatter's re-election. There hasn't been effective UK representation at Fifa level since Bert Millichip retired in 1996. The last UK president of Fifa was nearly 40 years ago.

    I say good on Fifa for taking the World Cup to new countries.

  • Comment number 34.

    It is right that we don't bid in future - 22 voters representing over 200 football asociations is hardly representative. We also have to remember that, in many parts of the world lining the pockets of those from whom you need a decision is normal behaviour which leaves us with no chance in reality.

  • Comment number 35.

    Am I the only one who is becoming increasingly irritated by the sympathy that appears to be expected for Cameron and Prince William?

    Cameron latched on to the bid for political gain. He saw an opportunity to bask in the glory of a successful bid and got caught. His fault, his problem.

    Prince William, (in case anyone has forgotten), is the President of the FA. He get free VIP jollies to any footballing event of his choosing and, like Cameron, has chosen to use football as a vehicle to promote his own profile. His choice, his problem.

    If either of these individuals were worth a light they should have appreciated a long time ago that the bid was doomed to failure for reasons beyond their or the FA's control and should have used their positions to urge restraint or outright withdrawal from the process. Instead they linked arms and marched forwards with eyes only for the prestige that they craved so badly and have come unstuck.

  • Comment number 36.

    Rumour has it that before the 2006 decision, Beckenbauer was playing golf with the New Zealand representative who withdrew his South Afica vote and abstained instead. We still don´t know the full story and I think we shouldn´t allow grass to grow over it. Let´s find out what´s going on at this level. Force this man to come clean as to why he withdrew his vote then maybe it might shed some light on the backstabbers who talk with forked tongues.

    This is not sour grapes. Russia seems a perfectly logical choice in light of the fact that Blatter is trying to spread the popularity of the game around the globe. Giving it to England would merely be coals to Newcastle... and I don´t mean Cheryl or Andy.

  • Comment number 37.

    The bid team have no questions to answer, only serious questions to ask. You state in this article that there is a strong anti English feeling within FIFA - surely these situations are to be viewed impartially? A referee has to be an impartial judge in a game, no matter what his feelings are towards a team, so why then does this not translate to the very top level of governing the game? Bias should have no place in sport, yet on Thursday it seems to have played a key role in deciding one of the biggest decisions in football.

    FIFA takes a strong stance against Politics in football and in particular Governments intervening in a Football Associations business. Does all this not make a mockery of the murky politics operating within FIFA?

    Whether it was down to dodgy backhanders or political voting is irrelevant (and it does seem that it was one of those two forces at work). The point is that it is far from a level playing field. To hear a FIFA committee member utter the words 'fair play' will now forever be a joke.

    If it was a case of FIFA wanting to take the competition to pastures new and introduce the game to new people and places, then surely this should have been some sort of briefing to all FAs wishing to take part long before the ball got rolling. If this was the case all along, in effect FIFA have allowed not only our own FA but several others to waste tens of millions of pounds each and two years putting together a bid merely to make up the numbers for a bidding game that was pretty much predetermined.

    These are the questions that need answering, not why our FA went full steam ahead with a Wold Cup bid we arguably should have won.

  • Comment number 38.

    The FA should have been revamped (or preferably) disbanded years ago. They come across as arrogant, incompetent and devoid of new ideas!

    England needs a flag bearer, both individual & corporate (NOT David Beckham).

    To go into the most recent fiasco without realising the issues, shows that they are not learning from previous experiences. Some media are also falling into the same trap by calling on David Davies as an FA pundit.

    What hope is there for the average English supporter?

    The country needs an organisation that can deliver ......... Quality English players, success in major international tournaments and recognition by the rest of the world.

    There has been no one in this drab, pointless bunch of old men that has delivered since 1966. Get rid of the lot (including Thompson) and start again!

    Mike (aged 66)

  • Comment number 39.

    I suspect that England will have trouble getting the world cup until Sepp Blatter steps down. The remit of his tenure has always been to expand the frontiers of football and expand its appeal. Taking South Africa, Russia and Qatar seems like a means to do this.

    Although at the press conference the comment about the media killing the bid was probably true at least in part, the violence at the Birmingham - Villa game wouldn't have helped either.

    I also wonder however just how many of the FIFA members promised their votes to other bidders as well? (Imagine you're getting constantly badgered by Prince William, David Beckham and David Cameron. I can understand someone telling them what they wanted to hear just to get away.)

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    If I could somehow sign my name under Anna Pitt's comment (#29), I'd have done that. Harsh words, but they are also the truest words on this entire page.

  • Comment number 42.

    Some of you are oblivious to the media in the US, Australia, Germany, Spain etc. It isn't just the British media who are crying foul.

    Are people really defending the autocratic, secretive, double-dealings of FIFA?

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't think you are being fair David and if anything your article is rather wimpy. We all know how FIFA operates. The Times and Panorama tried to shine a light into the murky corners of Mr Blatt's exclusive club and we can now see the results. There is no transparency in FIFA - that is the issue. If I were to bid for a contract from any normal upstanding organisation, it's procurement department would set out clear criteria for judging my bid against the others it received. Points would be awarded for crucial bid areas and then the points totted up. The best score would win. What we're asked to accept is that Mr Blatt and his group of worthies can change the rules just because they don't like us or think we make them look bad. What other option do we have futile as that may be? Are you seriously saying that we should jump into bed with those operators because that's the only way to get the cup. Make a deal with the Devil? I don't think so. Better to reform FIFA from the outside by putting political pressure on them to make them transparent. We're never going to get a World Cup on home soil at any rate so let's do all we can to pour as much firepower on this organisation as possible. Remember they don't like bad publicity. Your organisation gave them bad publicity in the final week of the bid. Do you honestly think that was a clever move (in hindsight of course)?

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    According to Peter 'FIFA seem to want the WC in a country where it would actively support and encourage developement of the game'.I suppose that was the reason to award 2022WC to Qatar.
    What next? 2026 to go to the Pitcairn Islands?My money is on Iran.

  • Comment number 46.

    The hullabaloo over England's failed bid is a clear indication that England does not get it. The FA does not understand the World Cup and the process that leads to winning it(hosting). The optimism that England had the best technical bid, commercial bid etc and therefore were more entitled than anyone else was misplaced. Every bid has it's strong points but fundamentally, bidders needed to recognise that the FIFA WORLD CUP is a BUSINESS. The bids were business plans and it takes exceptional businessmen to clinch deals of the magnitude of the FIFA world cup. Abramovich was not part of the Russian team as just some lay football enthusiast? That's a man able to strike multi-million deals within the blink of an eye. The equivalent personel on the England team; Prime Minister David Cameron - a civil servant, a politician talked a good talk. FIFA liked it, because it raised their profile but he was no business. Prince William, a monarch - little experience of high business and even less of politics at that level, and David Beckham - the Hollywood of England's bid - still no business. The win for Russia did not happen at the presentation, it just served to confirm that the infatuation with the presentational made England's bid very lightweight indeed. May be The Sunday Times and the BBC did not help but ultimately, the choice of personel let England down. No need aggravating the situation by clobbering FIFA in the media, it will not help and only serves to deflect the blame from those who really let England down. It's bid organisers

    Good day


  • Comment number 47.

    Regardless of our thoughts on the fairness of the bidding process and FIFA's desire to expand the game's international appeal.
    The overwhelming success of world football is Europe, their national leagues and the Champion's League. Surely we should focus on expanding this.
    The WC in S. Africa was, for the most part, rubbish. the hosts did nothing, the other African countries were poor and the success stories of the tournament were Spain and Germany.
    I'd go after another E.C. and the Champion's League Final.

  • Comment number 48.

    Roger Burden should not have resigned. If he distrusts FIFA so much then he should stay and challenge FIFA.

    It is quite clear that until FIFA cleans up its act then England will never host another World Cup despite inventing the game.

    The FA should now be a thorn in the side of FIFA and block any proposals that they make, the FA should work with the media to expose and embarrass those members of FIFA who have been taking bribes or lying about who they were voting for. The FA should not stop until the likes of Sepp Blatter are removed from office.

  • Comment number 49.

    FIFA's decision to award the 2018 tournament to Russia was a calculated insult to the English bid (& the Premier League).In the wake of this,we should ask ourselves "What benefits do we gain from staying within FIFA?"Bearing in mind that any English representative from now on will attend meetings,knowing that the rest of FIFA view us jealously and as a joke -knowing that we are impotent!Perhaps the FA should now be putting out feelers to other like-minded associations, with a mind to create a breakaway organisation to compete with FIFA. I would also like to remind people that FIFA's motto is "Fair play"

  • Comment number 50.

    The following is only a bit of fun and not a bitter and twisted attack at the winners of the bid but...

    I light of the recent Wikkileaks about Russia being controlled by the mafia and recalling the strange refereeing for S Korea matches helping them progress in ... South Korea, I predict the following;

    - Record number of Red Cards and Penalties awareded against Russia's Opponents
    - Unusual number of Brazilians finding out they have Russian ancestors
    - Strange number of own goals and penalties given away with corresponding astronimical betting winnings and finally...

    - England (if they qualify which is debatable) will be playing in Siberia

  • Comment number 51.

    As someone correctly said: you've lost (like we did), get over it. Of course money played an important role, just like it plays an important role in the Premier League and the international success of UK-Clubs. But as long as Russian, Thai, American money poors into English football, English seem to have far less objection. Quite ok that a WC goes to Eastern Europe for the first time ever and I'm sure they will do well.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm not sure what the FA could have done here. The most they can do now is to not bother making any further bids till FIFA cleans itself up!

    Lesson learned.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think the key word in your blog David is 'outsider' and the attitude displayed by various spokespersons since Thursday guarantees that England will remain outside the FIFA tent for some time to come.

  • Comment number 55.

    Openplay is absolutely right.Its all down to hard graft.Thats where Roman comes in.
    Its not in 'the blink of an eye' he does his deals...its 'the wink of his eye'.And by the way he's not a football enthusiast,he is a Businessman.
    Know what I mean? Nudge. Nudge.

    Trying to be helpful
    Vladimar Putin

  • Comment number 56.

    The World Cup is worth billions, yet it is awarded by an old boy's club, with little transparency. Good luck to Russia, it is a great result for them, and I'm sure they'll put on a super World Cup. But Qatar? This is a miniature state, with no football tradition. If FIFA policy is about opening football to parts of the world, where it's never been before, then why didn't Australia win it? They put together an excellent bid.

    No surprise that the Russian oligarchs and Gulf oil sheiks won football's biggest prize. FIFA is bent. The bidder with the most cash wins. If the FA had the balls, they would pull out of FIFA. The European Championship is a far better competition in pure football terms anyway. Forget the World Cup. The very least England (and Belgium/Netherlands, Spain/Portugal) deserved for their hard work, was a fair, open, and clean process. They didn't get it.

  • Comment number 57.

    If FIFA wanted to take the world cup to places it hasn't been hosted before, that's fine... But at least make that clear before hand so countries don't have to waste tens of millions for a competition they have no chance of winning.

    I mean, the 2 highest risk bids were the ones that won, so what is the point of a technical review if it is going to have absolutely zero effect? How can having the facilities in place be a disadvantage?

    Even if it was always going to be Russia, to only get 1 vote is a bit embarrassing. But we all know FIFA is a brotherhood, and if you hurt one you hurt them all. Are people really surprised that members didn't vote for the English after the press and BBC campaigns against FIFA?

    Put yourself in their shoes. Whether you think the BBC and our press are right to investigate them or not, and whether you think FIFA are pure or not, if you watched someone chasing your 'brother' down the street or shouting allegations at them outside of their hotel on Panorama on Monday, you're probably not going to vote for their country on Thursday.

    I'm not saying it's right, but it's human nature. What I do find a little insulting to my intelligence is why I then have to read article after article from the very people who poked FIFA with a stick days before the vote asking "why did our bid only get 1 vote?".

    Are you being serious, BBC?

  • Comment number 58.

    There is a basic disconnect here. The British Home Countries retain four permanent places on the influential IFAB with impunity, yet expect the rest of the world to swoon with passion when England mounts a World Cup bid. I never thought the English bid would be successful, especially after all the talk of how "superior" it was. We in the USA did the same to a lesser extent with our 2022 bid. All this talk of England's moral and ethical superiority over FIFA is ridiculous. The FA has its own skeletons in the closet. The English need to be a lot less pious and a bit more humble.

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    Trying to blame the FA just makes your Panorama program even more ridiculous and pointless.

  • Comment number 61.

    Sorry, but what was the point of this blog?

    It does not explore any of the points it raises. It's as if the blogger had a good night out on Friday and had to get something ready for Saturday afternoon!

    Perhaps he can take the time later this week to write this properly.

  • Comment number 62.

    FIFA is effectively unregulated, its constitution is governed and policed by itself. It is not a body that must comply with the rules of openness and fairness that, at least in Europe, Governments and public bodies must observe when awarding big contracts. Whatever the motives of FIFA in reaching these decisions, whether altruistic or financial self interest, we should never have expected that what may have objectively been the 'best' objective bid would necessarily win.

    The two awards will generate huge contracts for works, and with those contracts comes money and opportunity for those involved and able to influence them. Was this a consideration, probably.

    It was always an uneven playing field and the rules were never and will never be clear for as long as FIFA remains unaccountable and self regulating. There is no reason for FIFA to change its current position, why would it voluntarily dilute its own power, and who can change it?

    As in the case of Formula One only a concerted effort by the primary stakeholders, ie the member Associations of FIFA, can bring change, and I very much doubt whether sufficient support can be gathered, who would be first to put their head above the parapet, and who will take the easy option of kow-towing to the the establishment or trading their loyalty and support for favours?

    I dont think the FA did anything wrong, they did I am sure understand the way of the FIFA world and may have been naive to hope common sense would prevail over the iniquity of the system. Complaints now will seem like sour grapes, something is clearly wrong, but we always knew that, and chose to play the game.

  • Comment number 63.

    All this anti-FIFA vitriol, blaming everyone and overall bad sportsmanship has got to stop. It's getting seriously embarrassing to be English. We lost. Accept it with good grace as David Beckham did and wish Russia and Qatar good luck. Where did all our good manners go?

  • Comment number 64.

    Seems to be alot of people on here like the above poster (openplay) in particular who think they could have put together a better bid than our bidding team.

    Really? Who are you trying to kid? Our bid was nailed perfectly.

    Of course it is a business plan, but any business plan is more appealing if the costs to set up are minimal in comparison to it's rivals, and the proposed business already has a premises from which to operate and all the necessary personnel and clients. That is effectively our bid.

    We were right to focus on our national passion for the game and our heritage within the game. That is not arrogance, it is merely showcasing our strong points.

    Who do you suggest we should have sent? Simon Cowell? Alan Sugar? Both great business men but not ambassadors for our game.

    I am no fan of our FA, but the way they executed our bid was NOT the problem - the way FIFA operates was the problem.

    It is all fair and well saying how naive our lot were in hindsight, but you can not blame anyone participating in any bidding process, game or competition of any kind for believing that it would be officiated fairly. You would be right to expect a fair crack.

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

    I still say the press are in a way to blame or should take a part of it. England is seen worldwide as arrogant and a country you trust with both eyes open don't turn your back on them just like the Americans. Is it any surprise that both countries lost out in a bid to host major competitions? Not really. Yes the two countries were the best suited to host world cups and yes it would have been done with very little effort in both countries but truth be told ask around the world Russia and Qatar would not have been anyone's first choice but they would have been preferred to the overlords.

  • Comment number 67.

    'We in the USA did the same to a lesser extent with our 2022 bid. All this talk of England's moral and ethical superiority over FIFA is ridiculous. The FA has its own skeletons in the closet. The English need to be a lot less pious and a bit more humble.'

    As do the Americans. Obama within minutes of the decision, openly criticised the choice of Qatar. Seems like you also have a moral and ethical seperiority complex.

  • Comment number 68.

    This is rubbish journalism, you are trying to create something out of nothing without giving any of your opinions, in fact you dont give opinions on this site except "England's bid presentation was by far the best so far. Slick and making the most of its heavyweight ambassadors - David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William." (

    The world cup bidding process is poor and open to curruption, but you are doing the "British" journalist thing of trying to put the blame inwards in a unpatriotic destructive way.

    Do you think the decision was a joke or justified? If so explain yourself, what were the lessons of the 2006 bid? what would you done differently?

    I for one can understand the Russian win, opening up a potentially huge footballing nation, but the footballing "sleeping giant" of Qatar!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    So David Bond, the BBC's Sports Editor, makes these comments in the complete comfort of being able to hide behind the inpenetrable screen that seems to protect all journalists. Beckham et al did their best to try and bring the World Cup Finals to England. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they failed.

    They suffered at the hands of those who cannot be challenged. They suffered because they trusted the smiling faces of those who promised much and delivered nothing.

    They experienced a metaphorical 'stab in the back' when they realised the 'marks' put on ballot paper were not in their favour.

    Is there not some similarity between the behaviour of the FIFA ExCom and the the cloak and dagger antics of the British press?

    Neither group seem to to stand for true honesty! Both make decisions and act in their own best interests. And they do that with brazen impunity and damn the result and the feelings of others.

    Lessons can always be learned but is it not a bit early for such insinious comments to be written about our bid team?

    Would a better use of the press resources be to ask the British public what they want from their media. And then from that establish 'what is the true purpose of the media' and stop the gutter approach that now runs rife through the British media of just writing about issues for sales.

  • Comment number 70.

    Don't even attempt to turn this into the bid teams fault. They did the best job they could, bringing in 3 of the most famous people on the planet and putting together technically and financially the best bid and presentation out of any of the other candidates. They worked incredibly hard for this and the failure to land the prize does not rest with them.

    Instead the only people are to blame are Sepp Blatter and the British Media, including the BBC. Blatter is so anti-English he even claimed China invented football in his announcement speech and all the British Media did with the Panorama and Sunday Times stories was give him a legitimate excuse to persuade the voters to vote against us after producing slander against them days before they were due to decide.

    Neither of these stories needed to be broken before the vote was taken and in fact they may well have had much more of an impact if they were left until afterwards. This is not a question of free press but discretion as to the timing of a report. In more ways than one the actions of the media almost amounts to a deliberate attempt by the British press to undermine years of hard work by the bid team and £15m of the taxpayers money simply for attention.

    The British press and the BBC are a disgrace

  • Comment number 71.

    Surely like any situation where there are votes, not everyone is going to agree with the outcome or indeed think the outcome to be fair. The fact that there were only 22 voters is going to make that worse not better.

    I'd have loved the WC to be held in England, but we have had it before and Russia hasn't. C'est la vie from my perspective.

  • Comment number 72.

    there was a certain arrogance about the expectation of a winning's as if the rest of the world doesn't exist and follows the pattern of the last competition . we were simply not good enough.
    while there are many questions about the structure and behaviour of FIFA there is no point in moaning about it, action speaks louder than words.
    having been at Wembley in 1966 i guess that's my lot ! ( and yes the ball _did_ cross the line, i was directly behind that goal and Roger would have plonked it in if there was a need )

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    The England 2018 bid team shouldn't be put under the microscope, as far as things go the bid/presentation/technical aspects and commercial revenue should have got more than the paltry 2 votes it got I'm not saying England have a divine right to host it as Russia have never had it and they will put on a good show, FIFA have got a lot to answer for with regards to the England and even the Australian bid for 2022, they would host a quality World Cup as they are sport mad and football will be big over there by 2022 i reckon.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    FIFA say they gave it to countries where a legacy of football will last after the World Cup has been and gone. On those grounds, Russia getting it is understandable. They have a strong and emerging league within the strongest continental federation, one which will be helped massively with the arrival of the World Cup. Add that to the fact that they had a strong bid anyway, the fact that Russia was given it is nowhere as big a shock it as being made out in some quarters of the media.

    Saying that however, the fact that a bid as strong as England only got two votes clearly shows that somewhere, scores have been settled and egos have got in the way of judgement.

    Qatar however is a different proposition. A lasting footballing legacy is what FIFA says it wants to give its host nations, yet Qatar shows no sign of wanting this. Its admirable pledge of dismantling the stadiums after the tournament and building them in needy regions is the epitome of this. Surely if Qatar itself wanted a lasting football legacy they would want to keep the stadiums there? It seems they just want it for the sake of having it. I thought FIFA wanted more than this?

  • Comment number 77.

    > At 5:18pm on 04 Dec 2010, Guidomann wrote:

    I'm not sure that people are being bad losers towards Russia. Good luck to them and congratulations. I have no doubt they will stage a fantastic World Cup. It's FIFA that are the problem.

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    The only thing they did wrong was to bother bidding in the first place,you say about anti English feelings "was",you should have written "is".It is blatantly clear to anyone with only two brain cells that under Blatter and co,we will never host a football world cup again.If England never qualifies ever again for this corrupt tournament I for one will shed no tears.

  • Comment number 80.

    I live in Poland and agree with the Russian bid. the 10 zero sold it

  • Comment number 81.

    just a question david
    why didn't england approach the home countries and go with a joint bid . it would surely have been a very unique angle and would have surely have ticked more of sepp blatter's box's.
    it is plainly obvious that there is serious problems with the voting criteria and procedures when a country with very little football history like quatar can host this football tourament.
    i see no reason why scotland, wales and ireland could not have shared the huge expense of bidding and would certainly have been more that capeable of hosting football games, they certainly have the stadiums.
    it would be an unbelievable competition in all the home countries.
    the history in the home countries speaks for itself but i must say that england always seems to forget about everybody else when it comes to sport.
    i wonder if anyone down there ever thought of this.

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    Yes David the FA have questions to answer, but they are so eviscerated by the decade of civil war that the answers hardly matter any more

    The premiership has the power ie the money, much of it from the same sources we're bemoaning re the WC... Russian oil wealth (chelsea) and Arab oil wealth - mancity - I don't remember anyone except atsenal and man u fans complaining much, the premiership its the best in the world...I wonder why.

    FIFA have questions answer so has the BBC which emerged from It's cowering pusillanimity to throw a spanner in he works and back in its shell, wot panorama spanner guvner weren't nuffink to do with us.

    I'm really crestfallen over thisfarce . The WC should be a pinnacle. The last one was rubbish except for Barcelona/Spain. Brazil have been playing like Stoke City when Tungays injured and I'm not sure I can bear to watch the next 2. FIFA have damaged the brand. They're taking it into new territories of disillusionment and disengagement in football heartland.

    But you can't buy glory. Unless they cheat Russia won't get past the group stages - if thedc opposition is glowing its not Ready Brek its Polonium 241 and Qatar will get massacred.

    How's the next golden generation coming along?

  • Comment number 84.

    A few days ago the England bid, according to the media, had no chance, then they get caught up in the celebrity of Cameron, Becks etc and suddenly we should win. Yet again the media (and others) raise expectations based on hubris and celebrity then rush to blame others once the hollowness of their assumptions are laid bare. Now the acting FA chairman is taking his bat and ball home, having learn't precisely nothing. Unfortunately this woun't prevent necessary questions being asked of the FA bid.

  • Comment number 85.

    The BBC fell into line with the crowd and have spent the last few days saying Putin's absence would harm the Russian bid. Instead he decides to arrive after the bid to say thank you FIFA, a lesson in hubris-avoidance for Cameron and more so for some BBC reports I think. Hence having raised expectations the media and the some in the FA bid team seek to blame others for their naivety.

    As for not bidding again: we are in danger of taking Sepp Blatters comments on taking the world cup to 'new frontiers' too far. Clearly this was one reason for choosing Russia but the media have leapt on this comment to vindicate their FIFA are crooks narrative. If England had won and Blatter had highlighted to huge fan base or stadia then would that mean that Russia shouldn't have bid?

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't think there was much more England's bid team could have done to win the vote. In business terms you could see the WC as an opportunity. You decide what your relative strengths are, you identify your weaknesses and eliminate or minimize them (England and some other failed bidders did those things pretty well), assess what the threats are and if among those threats you realize that there are some things to be done that are outside your capacity or powers you make a conscious decision not to enter or continue with the competition because you decide that the risks outweigh the potential rewards. In this case I have little doubt that England's (and others') bids failed because FIFA had no appetite for such a result and the kinds of back room deals that appear to have been required to be made between members were beyond what would and should be the case in a normal bidding process. A scent of possible insider dealing would certainly justify an inquiry if competitive bidding were to be made in an open and regulated market such as a stock exchange. As a public interest institution (as defined under Swiss company law)FIFA is required to act in accordance with Swiss law (which forbids insider dealing,money laundering, bribery and corruption of foreign and Swiss officials and benefiting from or intermediating the proceeds of organised crime)and an internal inquiry within FIFA is legally possible if a majority of FIFA's members so decide. If the majority of members don't wish to exercise their rights in that way those who wish for an inquiry should resign their memberships with honour and explain their reasons for so doing. Properly applied, Swiss law provides plenty of perfectly good ways to deal with and govern FIFA's future affairs.

  • Comment number 87.

    Maybe the FA, English media and English fans should have a think why FIFA have 'issues' with English and probably British football. Less foreigner hating may help, less Europe bashing may help, less arrogance may also help. England and the English don't always do things the best.

    I commented on a blog on Thursday and dared question why it's okay for alleged corruption to not be exposed because England were bidding. If England didn't have a bid the journalism to blame (supposedly) for the failed bid would have been welcomed by every FIFA hating English fan.

    One particular fairly right wing radio station was slating the BBC and the Times, the slating was done by a so-called seeker of truth and justice. It's so laughable that any sort of wrong doing is fine as long as it doesn't affect a team's or a country's chance of gaining something!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    'why didn't england approach the home countries and go with a joint bid . it would surely have been a very unique angle and would have surely have ticked more of sepp blatter's box's.'

    Firstly that gives fire to the question of having a British team instead of the four individual nations and secondly, there is no way four nations will be allowed to qualify automatically for a world cup AND I can not see any way around that, not even some silly British Isles qualifying tournament to see which British nation attends!

  • Comment number 89.

    Football generally is badly run almost everywhere. The FA is a far from perfect organisation itself, and needs change. But if England is an outsider in FIFA, one can't help feeling that that might just be the most honourable position, if not a particularly comfortable one. OK, there's little England can do on its own to change the way FIFA works, but that's no reason to just roll over and accept its Byzanthian workings. Sometimes you just need to make a stand, regardless.

  • Comment number 90.

    Has Sepp Blatter got a long haired white cat to stroke in his black leather swivel chair in his secret base, oh no wait that's Vlad......(sounds of strangulation)

    BTW the author of this misguided peiece obviously moves in circles where a man's word means nothing OR maybe he is passing comment on his own integrity, erm!

  • Comment number 91.

    So we spend a day asking of legitimate questions of FIFA and their processes, before we start the Kick The English. Well done. There are many problems with the FA, but they're not the issue here. The issue here is the cancer masquerading as the global governing body. As long as we focus on the soft target and not on the real issue, then they will continue to get away with their ineptitude or worse.

    I applaud Roger Burden for having the courage to tell it like it is and I hope his successor, whoever that may be, continues in that vein and takes FIFA on. Too often we have sat back while FIFA's stupidity has done football continued disservice. We should have the courage to do what is right for the game, whatever the Zurich mafia may think.

  • Comment number 92.

    Its a great result for Russia, worthy winners.
    Qatar, again really pleased for them with thier long football history, apparently Real Madrid and Barcelona have got feeder clubs set up there, Not!

    Right, on with reality let the best football nations get together and schedule the real-world-cup for the next 40 years, block booked, no vote, just common sense, England, Germany, Brazil, France, Spain, Argentina, all go great infrastructure and love football. Come on get it together.

  • Comment number 93.

    Redpalaceblueskybulls The four home countries have permanent places on IFAB in order to at least try to protect the game that we invented from being ruined even further than it already has by the rest of FIFA.

    No one is claiming that the FA is perfect but looks saintly in comparison with FIFA.

    The USA had the World Cup in 1994 so really didn't merit the opportunity to host it again so soon. It is now going to be at least 60 years before the country that invented the sport hosts the World Cup again.

  • Comment number 94.

    So does this mean that if the next 3 World Cup venue bids happen to have european "Best technical, financial bla bla" bids they will automatically win each time. No, FIFA like to spread it about different parts of the world. Whats wrong with that?

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

    Failure was inevitable; partly because FIFA were unlikely to give England the nod under any circumstances and partly because (shock horror) FIFA's political machinations don't usually abide by the principles of 'play up and play the game' or 'may the best man win', but mostly because the FA are amateurish and incompetent in everything they do.

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with carlbyronrodgers and others who propose that England / the FA's best next move should be not to dwell on the clear flaws in what just happened. But to push ahead with its own forward-thinking moves that will capture interest, and lead the way for all FIFA countries.

    In the 80's the FA led the way with the "3 points for a win" trial. Seems such a small change now. But it was huge at the time. So now, let's go for the goal-line technology advancement. It is a move that few countries or true fans could argue against.

    And, for as long as FIFA is going to employ a flawed voting system, or promote a philosophy that would disbar existing football "super-powers" from staging a World Cup, then the FA would be wise to simply stay away from the party. It's far cheaper that way. And less embarrassing.

    And, yes, UK should quit the Eurovision Song Contest too, for all the same reasons :-)

  • Comment number 98.

    I think that winning the right for England to host the World Cup is a bit like the UK in Eurovision. We could have the best of everything, but we will never win it... And why, because nobody really likes us... We could be in the final two, with, let's say, Afghanistan as the other potential hosts... Terror threats abound, infrastructure abbysmal, not stadia, and we all know what would happen... Afghans would get 21 votes... Eurovision... We could have Take That with Robbie representing us... Nil Points.... It's never going to happen, I am afraid... And I am gutted... I wanted to be able to take my boys to see the World Cup here... I guess I will have to settle for the Olympics... I think FIFA are where the IOC were about 20 years ago... Lets just hope that Panorama and The Times continue their crusade against FIFA and flush all the bad apples out...

    In the mean time, Russian fat cats, like Abromovic, will just get fatter, and FIFA commitee members will continue dining and holidaying on potential suiters...

  • Comment number 99.

    Clearly the FA have one very tough question to answer! Whether they should break away from FIFA altogether. I strongly suspect in time this will be a real possibility. Sepp Blatter has no business in football and it amazes me that he has remained in power so long. As for the rest of the executive committee they are cowards and collusionists who are puppets on strings under Blatter. The cloak and dagger way this double selection process has worked and indeed the whole voting system works is archaic and non-transparent as well as being highly suspect!

  • Comment number 100.

    We don't need 'The World Cup' - we have the world's best cup and league every week here in England, and we don't need to boast about it, the world wide viewers and admirers speak for us. And we do more to promote football at the grass roots then FIFA ever can, and that is what matters. Not just England of course, many wonderful African footballers do more to help their people through football than the World Cup in Africa ever will. I was at the World Cup Final in 1966, and that will do for me; there have been some tournaments of great quality since, but this year's in South Africa was of awful quality, and will do more to undermine the value of football than help it. And I'm afraid that the latest decisions for Russia and Qatar will do even more damage, but it won;t affect the real football we enjoy in this country. Wait until you get the ground level cameras at some small ground in the FA Cup 3rd round, and see some real football.
    As for the World Cup bid, frankly I thought sending the '3 Lions' was ludicrous and was asking for the kick in the teeth they got. The 3 Lions should have Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, men who carry real respect in the game. and some humility. I felt sorry for Prince William (who was his speech writer ? I cringed when I heard it) and David Cameron, who has no equal when it comes to presentation, but he was chasing a lost cause. Those deluded folk who thought Putin had thrown in the towel were fools, just as those who thought the expose of FIFA officials wouldn't harm the bid. And, yes, I got the winners right, because it was obvious what FIFA's policy is. John Motson underlined that at lunchtime.
    Where FIFA is blatantly wrong is encouraging bids from countries when they are engineering their policy to begin with. FIFA is about money grabbing politics, that cannot be denied. I don't mind Russia or Qatar getting a World Cup, but have a policy where we can see a genuine tournament of quality alternating with a 'development tournament'. Fortunately there is the European Nations Tournament and the African Tournament (real entertainment there) if we need quality.
    For FI-FA you can also read 'F1', because it is chasing money and running awful Grand Prix in awful places on awful tracks; the driving championship is a joke, the cars rule , OK ? But at least they are British designed and built for the most part, but you have to have friends with lots of money to get a drive. Sounds very familiar to football doesn't it ?
    Finally, Chelsea is dominated by THE Russian who wants to buy the European Cup, Man City is dominated by THE Middle Easterner who wants to buy the European Cup. Do people in London and Manchester complain ? No, but EUEFA and FIFA do, so how can we carp when the Russians and Middle Easterners buy the World Cup ? If we had lost the bid by one vote, the outcome would have been just the same - no World Cup finals here for a long time. But don't worry about football in England, it is incomparable.


Page 1 of 6

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.