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FIFA’s erstwhile despot president Sepp Blatter has branded the English as ‘bad losers’ in the wake of the recent World Cup auction which saw Russia and Qatar purchase the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.
Upon crashing out of the ‘ballot’ in the first round with a paltry total of two votes (one from themselves, and one from the main butt of BBC Panorama‘s ‘potentially devastating’ exposé into the institutionalised corruption within football’s governing body – Cameroonian ExCo member Issa Hayatou), the England 2018 team reacted with a flurry of frothing self-entitlement and a brief swathe of measly protests, which were all about as half-cocked as the bid attempt itself.
In a collective fit of pique, depressingly predictable public accusations of venal corruption and two-faced glad-handing were also levelled directly at FIFA by both the English bid team and their associates and by the national press at large – thus serving to further widen the gaping schism between the FA and their international overlords.
Speaking in an interview with Swiss magazine Weltewoche, Blatter described the English backlash :
“To be honest, I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fairplay ideas.
Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers. You can’t come afterwards and say so and so promised to vote for England. The results are known. The outcome came out clearly.”
Blatter also claimed that the decision of the English, Australian and American bid teams (who were all snubbed) to openly criticise the guarded voting process exposed the ‘arrogance of the Christian western world’:
“I really sense in some reactions a bit of the arrogance of the western world of Christian background. Some simply can’t bear it if others get a chance for a change.
What can be wrong if we start football in regions where this sport demonstrates a potential which goes far beyond sport?”
Blatter continued by explaining his life-long dedication to breaching new corporate frontiers:
“It’s my philosophy to drive forward the expansion of football. The next regions that we need to conquer would be China and India.
Football has become a political matter. Heads of state court me. Football has become a monster, but it’s a positive monster.”
Why stop at Indo-China? To the best of my knowledge, Narnia haven’t hosted a World Cup yet.
You could feasibly argue that, if it was FIFA’s pre-determined manifesto to take their showpiece tournament to new, untapped territories, they should probably have disclosed that fact before the bidding commenced two years ago – as they could have saved a lot of ‘arrogant Christian westerners’ an awful lot of money.
Be thankful though that, thanks to Sepp and his band of morally astute cohorts, we can sleep sound in the knowledge that FIFA is not, will not be, nor has ever been a corrupt institution:
“Nobody can come along and simply hold out their hand. There are no rotten eggs.
There is no systematic corruption in Fifa. That is nonsense. We are financially clean and clear.
“We need to improve our image. We also need to clarify some things within Fifa.”
Presumably ‘things’ like how they’re going to divvy up that near-bottomless vat of petro-dollars they all stand to get their slavering, grubby mits on in about 12-years time.