May 12, 2011

Corruption at FIFA? No way!

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

In the wake of a bribery scandal that alleges that some voters were bribed for their votes in the process of allocating the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, I have but one thing to ask: Can you really be surprised?
This story was not shocking in the least and, quite frankly, was expected. I mean, in the process of picking of a host for the 2022 World Cup, shouldn’t Qatar’s bid started and ended with the questions: What is the average temperature in July and how do you plan to fit a couple million visitors into a country the size of Connecticut?
So, in the wake of a report that two voters received $1.5 million to vote for Qatar over the USA for the 2022 Cup, what exactly does this mean for the upcoming FIFA presidential election? After all it is reigning champion Sepp Blatter, who has had to deal with more than his fair share of controversies and scandals, facing off against the man who was a key figure in Qatar’s bid, Mohamed bin Hammam.
Is this not the definition of a lose-lose situation for FIFA’s future? It looks like it will a decision between who the voters think is less corrupt. Or, would anyone be surprised if one side bought votes in this election too?
But what is the solution here, to any of soccer’s administrative problems? Why is there no other candidate that can clean up what has been sullied in the beautiful game’s front offices? Can we ever truly trust this organization to do things the right way with its biggest decisions? I’m not so sure.
I guess the one thing that we can take away from this is that at least Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup is plausible and may have actually been won fairly. Well, in comparison that is.
But, also, you can’t help but get the sinking feeling that the rug could be pulled out from under us on that one too.

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