Goonjimbo blogged
Dec 04, 10 3:00am

England have their media to thank for World Cup result

Two votes out of a possible twenty-two was a clear message to England and its media, FIFA are not to be trifled with.

The following day, the British papers emblazoned their front pages with words such as 'BUNG', 'FIXED' and 'DISGRACE' as they tried to direct the country's disappointment and inevitable backlash against FIFA, rather than themselves. For as much as the media impact has been downplayed in.. well the media.. it is of no doubt that their interference has proved catastrophic for not just England's World Cup bid, but also their relations with FIFA.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of the 22 (remaining) voters that will decide which nation hosts the 2018 World Cup. Two of your peers have been suspended from voting on charges of bribery and corruption. The instigators are a media group from one of the nations actually vying for the bid. This media group did not just hear of bribery and report it, they physically went out of their way posing as American lobbyists with the deliberate intent to misle your peers, discredit them and, of course, cash in on the story. Now with this turn of events, not only is your organisation's integrity in question, but your own morality is thrown into the spotlight, suddenly you have to answer for all your actions and your every move is scrutinised by everybody looking for the tiniest hint of collusion with your neighbours to pounce on.

Well you know something? I wouldn't feel particularly good about England or the English media either.

David Cameron and Prince William can bleat about people 'promising their vote and then voting elsewhere' all they want, as people that know about politics, they are well experienced in putting on a smile and lying through their teeth to someone, it's the easiest way to get them to leave you alone if you tell them what they want to hear. What is important is the bridges you have built with them when they enter the meeting room and that's what will influence where they will place their vote. Standing by and letting your own media paint them as corrupt for months and then appearing to shake their hand in the final week is not a vote-swayer, it's not even a peacemaker. For the case of England, after their media were allowed to cripple their bid completely, it was too little, too late for Cameron and his men.

What is also interesting is the 2022 vote. Now Qatar are a nation that raise many eyebrows when spoken of in a footballing sense, mainly, because their team has never even QUALIFIED for a World Cup. However, I fear that FIFA felt pressured from all this media scrutiny that has made them look far from impressive in recent weeks. One key aspect of the Middle Eastern nation's bid was to 'flatpack' their stadia, enabling it to be dismantled once the World Cup was over and transported to much poorer nations. A unique gesture. A gesture that presented itself as FIFA's knight in shining armour. What better way to restore your image than support a bid that has immense humanitarian strength and meaning. FIFA can use this 'human interest' bid to iron out the crease that has been exposed in their armour, the British Media have a little more work to do than that.

I understand this is a different approach to many that you'll read but remember this, the media will happily discredit anyone, anyone but themselves.

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Responses (3)

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Stefan Dec 6, 10
Fantastic article Goonjimbo. Although I have to disagree about the Qatar stadiums. Personally I felt it was a weakness in the Qatar bid, it meant FIFA couldn't stand on the usual corner stone of the expected excuse that they where helping to build up Qatar's 'football infrastructure.'AS it was in turn, not going to be staying around for any great deal of use after the tourists left.
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Goonjimbo Dec 6, 10
Thanks Stefan, much appreciated. That is a fair point, Qatar will simply receive temporary recognition, it's hardly a bid that will advance football in Qatar dramatically for the future.

Sorry I never actually replied to your comment in a previous blog, which site is it that you write for?
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Stefan Dec 6, 10
Eh well at the time it was the but i now write for Footballfarrago and The Oval Log. The latter being a blog that i've recently set up. If your interested then give me a PM.
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