Thursday, 2 December 2010

Football: not coming home

The 2018 World Cup has been awarded to Russia, and 2022 to Qatar. Enjoy those 40C + temperatures and the ban on alcohol outside a few licenced hotels in '22. Oh, and homosexuals: sorry. The Russians don't like you and the Qataris have a legal ban on homosexuality. You'll have to get your kicks (sorry) elsewhere. Straights are in trouble too: kissing in public is illegal. I'm quite looking forward to footballers being arrested for overly-demonstrative goal-celebrations.

Good. The Panorama programme a few days ago proved fairly conclusively what we already knew: that FIFA (like many international sport governing bodies) is riddled with corruption, and that any country wishing to host an event has to agree to exploitation and fraud: FIFA's demands included exemption from minimum-wage, taxation and money-laundering laws.

If you've read even a small part of the Wikileaks reports on Russia, you'll recognise that a country with no distinction between the mafia and the ruling class and government is the ideal location for a corrupt, arrogant and exclusive event. All those ticket scams, construction rackets, prostitution rings, and on and on ad infinitum. They're suited to each other.

And on top of all that, David Cameron looks extremely stupid, flying to Switzerland to apologise for the BBC's journalism, flying back for PMQs, then out to Switzerland for more lobbying and schmoozing.

FIFA of course have done nothing about the corruption evidence. Their ethics committee says that no official has been convicted of bribery, neatly overlooking the fact that bribery wasn't a criminal offence in Switzerland (predictably) at the time. Who's the head of the ethics committee? Why, it's that former Tory Scum MP Sebastian Coe!

Perhaps significantly, Russia is 140th and Qatar 120th on the Index of Press Freedom. I wonder if Panorama did sway the voting to some extent! No pesky investigations in these countries!

1 comment:

Benjamin. said...

Given that Qatar is approximately the size of Yorkshire, perhaps we should launch a World Cup bid.

Ironically, the word verification for this comment came up as 'Comption' which of course looked like corruption at first glance. Fair play? No such thing. Now we sit back and watch the Russian Mafia overtake the WC.