With a weekly ‘Offside View’ of the footballing world COS contributor EAVESY DOES IT wonders why England have been so quick to jump to FIFA’s well worn tune.
Triesman-gate had a cloud of inevitability about it for me. England’s 2018 bid was always going to falter along the way and require the odd visit to Switzerland to massage Blatter’s ego.
The dance of submitting a bid has more in common with the mating rituals of peacocks than actually trying to find out who could provide the best tournament.
However, like good Little Englanders we dealt with the Triesman claims just how FIFA would have wanted. The claims were dismissed and Triesman had to resign from the FA and the bid committee. The speed that one of Blatter’s lap dogs, Geoff Thompson, was then installed as replacement was quite remarkable. If Blatter has a cat, he is stroking it right now whilst they purr in unison.
Rather than stuttering and falling over ourselves to help Blatter push all this under those plush carpets in Zurich, maybe we should have actually looked into the claims? Not simply pass it over to FIFA under the forlorn hope they will look into it properly. FIFA seem to be chief sweepers of things under carpets, rumour has it that the carpets in Blatter’s office are now 4 foot high.
Remember when they were going to clamp down on cheating? Arsenal’s Eduardo was the unfortunate poster boy for this campaign but was then cleared and the whole idea seemed to disappear didn’t it? Where were FIFA when Busquets helped to get Motta sent off and banned from the European final, with one of the most blatant and comical displays of cheating most of us have ever seen?
So on to what Triesman actual let slip in his private conversation ‘There’s some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees…and pay them.’ Was the extent of what he said about Spain and he added regarding Russia ‘Oh, I think Russia will cut deals.’
The first reaction of the authorities to this should not be ‘Quick, banish the mad Englishman’ but more a genuine concern that Spain may actually be attempting to cheat and Russia may have offered to help them. In the modern game is it really that farfetched to think there may be some truth in this? Triesman has said there is some evidence, now if FIFA get their hands on it do we suspect they’d use it to make sure any bad apples in the game are cleared up or do we think that the evidence would somehow find its way to the bottom of a certain Icelandic volcano.
We’ve all heard about Jack Warner and the hundreds of thousands his family have made from fleecing ordinary fans by selling large numbers of World Cup tickets to the black market. We’ve heard how he has tried to short change his own players and given grossly misleading figures on the money his organisation brings in and where it goes. We’re not the only ones who have heard of this, FIFA are well aware. They did actually fine him but he is still FIFA vice chairman and has an all important vote, despite hailing from the football backwater of Trinidad and Tobago.
So, if we don’t get the 2018 World Cup, despite being widely considered as by far and away the best bid, do we just toddle off like good Little Englanders or do we throw all our toys out of the pram. Do we start to question the unquestionable and try to get to the bottom of the snake pit that is FIFA.
Let’s name the South American vote holder who wanted an honorary Knighthood to even consider voting for England and let’s put all evidence and suspicions on the table and in the press. The same press who have lazily started the week by collectively pouncing on the easy target of Triesman.
Yes, this would damage our relationships with FIFA and UEFA but as it is we just seem to be poor relations in those clubs anyway. An example for Platini to poke his finger at and an amusement for Blatter, Warner and co to condescend, and worse.
Putting national bias to one side, can anyone really argue that the English bid is not the best? The Premier League has been at the forefront of the modern football explosion, we have fantastic stadiums and supporters from all over the UK would snap up tickets with unmatched enthusiasm. Russia are said to have a strong bid and be ready to invest but the distances between host cities would be vast which must surely be a disadvantage for supporters. Not that trivial things like supporters have ever mattered to FIFA.
The new head honchos of the FA should be using Triesman-gate in our favour and play the FIFA game. Give us the World Cup and we’ll be the nice Little Englanders you love to ridicule, screw us over and we’ll open the biggest can of worms that football has ever seen.
This weekend, as long as we avoid the ash cloud and FIFA hit squad, EAVESY DOES IT will be in sunny Madrid for the football festival that is the Champions League Final. Next week’s CAUGHT OFFSIDE will be a cheery look at what we found there. Anyone got any tickets?