The (Self-Indulgent) BBC Report on FIFA

Have a view of this BBC documentary and ponder a few direct and indirect questions, including:

• Precisely what has the United States needed to do, promise and deliver to navigate their way to their current bid position?

• Is it okay to bring World Cup 2022 to the United States in a Machiavellian way of “by any means necessary?”

• And indirectly, with Sunil Gulati running the show, will 2010 perhaps be considered a stunning failure for the USSF president who won re-election to a four-year term in February if the US does not gain the 2022 World Cup (in combination with the Bob Bradley debacle and the CONCACAF tourney re-alignment)?

(TSG’s thoughts in that case? Yes)

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15 responses to this post.

  1. thanks for posting the video. I’m not sure how it’s self-indulgent though. What is does show is that FIFA is an organized crime family and that wihtout doing “whatever necessary” is is impossible to get the World Cup. The economics of the World Cup in the USA are compelling, but in so far as there will be zero infrastructure projects undertaken, the chance for kickbacks to civil construction firms are also zero. Russia, Quatar, Australia…all much more likely to generate revenue for local firms with their high level political allies. My bet for 2018 is Russia, then England 2022. Not getting the WC should not be considered a stunning failure for Sunil. Not getting to the semi-finals by 2018 should be.

    The corruption here in Brazil is as spectacular as the lack of professionalism in football. The World Cup is a huge opportunity for graft and these possiblities are greatly diminished in the USA and the UK, which puts them lower on FIFA’s list.

    Reply

    • Posted by Brian on 2010/12/01 at 12:03 AM

      I think you didn’t get the memo, homes. England is only bidding for 2018. And even if they were still bidding for 2022, they would be been automatically eliminated if Russia wins 2018 (can’t have it be on the same continent in back to back WC’s)

      Reply

  2. This was tough to watch. The overall format; talking to gramps by the fireside had me thinking that Will Farrell was back at SNL spoofing Inside the Actors Guild.

    As for your question about whether the US should do whatever’s necessary to obtain the World Cup…I’d love to say that this country has always stood on its principles and therefore we should do the same with trying to get the WC, but that’d be a lie. But I would like to see us quietly (not trumpeting our rightousness in the media) take the higher road here and try to win on merit alone. I realize this is quite the naive viewpoint, but I’m sticking to it.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2010/11/30 at 8:47 AM

      I think the US can take the high road and still win because of the amount of money that will be generated for FIFA with a US World Cup. I believe that the 94 World Cup is still the highest earning World Cup for FIFA. So FIFA delegates may not get there bribes but will get the money on the backend when they are able to sell their tickets for much higher than they could in Qatar.

      The only way that the US loses is if Sepp Blatter decides to take the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time ever. That guy is all about leaving a legacy of firsts when it comes to staging World Cups even if it means destroying a country’s bank accounts like he did with South Africa.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/30 at 8:53 AM

        Highest earning, or most spectators? Not necessarily the same… But, personally, I think the USA has to be the strong favourite for 2022.

        Reply

        • For a while it was both, not sure anymore about highest earning given inflation (both general and ticket prices).

          Reply

  3. Posted by dude on 2010/11/30 at 7:41 AM

    hahahahaha, merit alone. Let’s stick with our strengths here, people. The US bid can actually compete in this area, and we have the best facilities, and we have amazing foreign fan bases, quite frankly, we don’t have any strikes except we’re Americans.

    I can see why England is not necessarily a lock right now, if they’re so arrogant as to ask for the tournament And belittle FIFA as a corrupt organization that couldn’t possibly say no. First one true, second one not so much.

    Reply

    • Posted by dude on 2010/11/30 at 7:48 AM

      ps. I love investigators that yell at people while they are getting into cars, pointless much?

      Reply

  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/30 at 8:24 AM

    I desperately want England to host the World Cup, but as the author and Chris point out, at what cost? We all know that there’s schmoozing in the corporate world to win new business. But we’re not talking about taking a prospective client for dinner and then to watch the Celtics in an executive box here, ‘whilst discussing business’. Where do you draw the line?

    Why are England arrogant and rightous? What has the BBC and England 2018 got to do with each other (apart from coming from the same country)? Would it have been better to wait until after 2nd December, when the programme would have little affect, especially as we’re talking about tournaments in 8 and 12 years? If anything, I hope that this will help the bidding process be more transparent, because we all know that the countries with the best ‘technical’ bids, don’t necessarily win the right to host the World Cup. And at the end of the day, that’s what the bids should be judged on right, not politics and bungs? I don’t mind if England don’t win the bid, but as long as the winning bid was actually better – that’s my gripe. Seeing the numbers from McKinsey Consulting (an American company, BTW), England do have the ‘best technical bid’ for 2018, with 100% score across the board in five revenue areas: ticketing, TV and media rights, sponsorship, hospitality and merchandise/licensing , [and USA with 100% in 2022].

    @Chris – Russia and England are both in the same Confederation, so they cannot have consecutive World Cups, right?

    Reply

    • About England and Russia not having consecutive World Cups…when has FIFA stuck to any policy with respect to hosting nations? Only when it benefits their legacy, otherwise 2018 would be in the USA (or possibly Mexico). They ditched the rotational policy after Brazil 2014 to open up the bidding wars again.

      As for the BBC’s reports, I hope they continue to investigate this matter after the host nations are announced. Look into why certain nations were picked, even if it means exposing corruption and unjust people in both England and the US. Let’s make this as transparent as possible.

      At the end of the day I don’t mind FIFA bringing the World Cup to new areas of the world when there are better bids because otherwise it would be the US and the Major European Nations hosting it every 4 years. As long as 1) they say that’s the reason Russia, Qatar, etc. were picked over better bids, and 2) there is respect for that country’s well being during and after the tournament (highly unlikely with the current executives).

      Reply

      • Posted by Brian on 2010/12/01 at 12:06 AM

        No. Stop it. You’re wrong. FIFA may have stopped the rotation policy, but that doesn’t mean that the same continent can host back to back World Cups. Plus ENGLAND DROPPED OUT OF THE BIDDING FOR 2022!!

        Reply

  5. Posted by SamsArmySam on 2010/11/30 at 11:05 AM

    I could see a scenario where this actually helps the England 2018 bid. If you’re FIFA, do you decide to award the bid to England at this moment to diffuse the issue for the time being? Possibly. There will always be opportunities for corruption later when the media glare isn’t so bright.

    Reply

  6. [...] I made it through this whole post and forgot to give a hat tip to The Shin Guardian, which raises a couple of questions that show the uncomfortable position the USA bid is in. Like a [...]

    Reply

  7. Posted by Dave on 2010/12/01 at 7:24 AM

    This sort of report disheartens me on the game of football. When I read “Broken Dreams”, about the corruption in English football with agents and managers it hurt. Then I think of the German referee scandal, and who knows how far that spreads – meaning not in just Germany, but every league . But now, I’m so jaded, I know that bribes are basically and accepted practice in football, whether its a player agent and a manager or a Federation president and FIFA.

    When I look at the US soccer hierarchy and the changes Klinsmann wanted to make, I just assume its all about money and power and not the good of the game.

    Reply

  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/01 at 8:19 AM

    UEFA should just go it alone. Most of the best teams in the world are from Europe anyway – so we should just increase the frequency of the Euros and F the WC and FIFA. And at club level, the best players are definitely in Europe. We don’t need FIFA!!

    Reply

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