World Cup - Can You believe It?
Can you believe what we witnessed this afternoon when the winner of the World Cup Bids for 2018 & 2022 were announced?
A backward country with no serious football stadia, 9 time zones asking in temperatures of minus 25c get the vote ahead of a country guaranteed to get the FIFA tills ringing like never before, that could guarantee sell-out crowds at every match in quality grounds.
And the rather smug Roman Abramovich tucked in the background.
And how much did the insincere Sepp Blatter enoy that and what will his bank account be looking like tonight?
First off we get Russia as the destination for 2018. A barren waste of a country beset by the darkest of dealings, no doubt leaving some of the 'businessmen' rubbing their hands.
Then we get the footballing hotbed of Qatar winning the bid for 2022. A country with no discernable football team and whose qualifying group will therefore offer an unfair disadvantage to three other teams, those in their group.
The half wits giving these decisions defy logic, defy economic sense defy every thing that football is about.
Here we have, live in a country that has the best stadia in the world, the safest stadia in the world, the best stadia safety management in the world and we are knocked back and a country which operates on organised crime is selected in preference to us. I'm a dedicated City fan but just ask the United and Chelsea fans who went to the Champions League final in Moscow what it was really like.
Then we get Qatar. Give us a break guys. Here we have a non-football country with no stadia or infrastructure intent on building the required number all within about 20 square miles in time for the event.. oh and they need what 30 five star hotels fully equipped with training facilities and that is before finding somewhere for 60000 or 40000 to stay for the duration.
I for one am sick and tired of this charade that presents itself as a fair selection process. The charade of Blatter pretending to the world that he did not already know the outcome when BBC news more or less already knew, sick of the apparent corruption that seems to pervade more or less any form of serious international sport.
Gentlemen from the FA. Cancle your membership of FIFA. Create an invitation-only version of the World Cup on our own doorstep just ahead of the so-called real one and encourage like-minded nations to leave FIFA as well. Leave them skint, leave them devoid of interest, leave them in Russia and Qatar wondering why the earth's best footballing nations have selected a different route.
It is time the cushy numbers in Zurich disappeared from the radar and football took on the role that it should have.
It is time that the clown Blatter was booted out of his job.
It is time that the meaningful nations team of the world enjoyed a meaningful competition in a meaningful country.
Did not Russia fail to qualify last time out? Maybe their only option is as host nation.
And Qatar? What chance did they ever have of qualifying generally? None.
When the World Cup took place in South Africa for the forst time in my life I hardly watched a match. Not because England were rubbish, but becaue it didn't appeal to me. And it won't appeal to me in Russia nor Qatar. So as an avid football fan I'm going to be deprived of watching football at the highest level until 2026, when I suspect I'll be watching from the sactity of a wooden box many feet below ground level.
There is no doubt that England is the best venue on earth. Why do other countries engage our crowd management trainers to teach them how to do it? Why have we learned from the dangers of major incidents, taken them to heart and produced the best football product on the planet. Why has Blatter and his cronies ignored us?
Many questions remain unanswered.