The big worry this week is that our chances may have been scuppered by the BBC Panorama programme on Monday alleging all sorts of corruption by the deciding officials, not to mention FIFA’s demands for tax-free status for the duration. Lots of media talk and public opinion saying they shouldn’t have broadcast the programme just before the decision and waited until after or shown it well before.
The obvious point about the much earlier showing is that Panorama is a current events programme so timing it for the week of the announcement does what it says on the tin. And if they waited until after, the cry would have been; “Why the hell didn’t you tell us they were a bunch of crooks before we committed to this?”
Of course the officials aren’t going to be too pleased with us if the allegations are untrue, but neither would they be if they were guilty. However, the BBC would have been remiss if they hadn’t told us of their strong suspicions.
What gets me though is the hypocrisy of the media and some of the public. The general consensus seems to be that the BBC should keep its mouth shut if it means we can get to host the tournament, even though it could be us who end up footing the bill for corruption, either as taxpayers or spectators.
Compare that with the reaction to MPs’ fiddled expenses story.
I really hope that we get the competition in eight years time as long as it doesn’t involve any bribes, subsidising FIFA or their officials selling tens of thousands of tickets on the black market.
UPDATE: Phew, so it’s gone to Russia, but at least it’s the one country we can be absolutely sure would never try to bribe anyone.