You really don’t have to be a football fan to be thrilled by the latest revelations about the bribery and corruption involved when countries get all over-excited about hosting major tournaments at dates decades away into the future. Well that funny old thing, Sepp Blatter, who is chairman of FIFA, the body that runs the Football World Cup is in trouble again after one of our football gurus, the pleasant-seeming Lord Triesman has told our parliament that four members of the FIFA selection committee asked for bribes to vote for Britain to be host of the 2018 World Cup. Well, we being good honest chaps, said no and the Russians, surely without bribery, got it.
Some cynics suggest too that the World Cup after that has only gone to the non-football-playing desert kingdom of Qatar because a few dollars changed hands.
I am sure by the time the World Cup players get here, they will have done something about those camels and, maybe, flattened the sand dunes. Nice weather anyway.
Lord Triesman told the Parliamentary committee yesterday that one Fifa delegate asked for £2.5million, another demanded a knighthood, God knows why people still want these old-fashioned title things, and a third wanted TV rights for a friendly football match between England and Thailand.
Mostly shockingly to my innocent ears was the fourth member who asked nice Lord Triesman to ‘come and tell me what you have got for me’, in return for backing England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup bid. Who do they take us for? A load of air-head morons? Maybe our team was just nice but thick.
I couldn’t believe that you could get any international sporting event to come to your place for just a few bribes, so decided to test it out. I found out that the 2098 Atlantic Cup might be up for grabs so armed with a few tempting bribes, my old stamp album, some recently purchased Italian shoes that pinch my toes and a bound edition of wolfiewolfgang’ s blogs 2008-2011, I did a bit of ringing round. And, believe it or not, I got it.
I was thrilled, fancy ‘lil ol’ wolfie getting the prestigious Iceland versus the Faroe Islands football tournament 2098. I rang them up to start planning the arrangements but, sadly, they didn’t know what I was on about.
Then I realized my mistake. there is another Atlantic Cup, held between two American teams, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls – well, I thought, that would be good too and I was never going to wear those shoes again anyway.
I couldn’t believe that I had managed to bring this exciting event to my hometown, Lewes in England,
with its small but perfectly formed football club snuggling in the Sussex countryside…..
….with its band of loyal supporters and sand-free pitch.
My excitement was short-lived though, when both those American football teams denied any knowledge of my bribe and said that they had no plans to relocate to Britain at the end of the century. They went on to tell me, in a relatively friendly but direct way, that maybe I had bribed the other Atlantic Cup committee….the international ocean-going sailing competition.
You know, I just couldn’t bring myself to ring them. I can understand football in the desert…..
but could our little River Ouse really host the ocean-going yachts and would the stretch between Lewes town and the little port at Newhaven, some 8 miles away, really be long enough? I don’t even think that the added bonus of our little outdoor swimming pool would help. So I may have lost my stamp album but I have learnt a valuable lesson. It is better to be an air-head than a corrupt FIFA official.