Thursday, December 02, 2010

How to lose a world cup - only in Britain


What! What do they know about football, most football conscious Brits, like James my mate are asking.

So the world cup caravan is set to hitch its wagon to the Kremlin.

BBC News delivered a series of reports on its 6 O'clock news, which aside from sticking a camera in the right place, hardly gave the reasons behind  England's failure.

Handbag investigation, a sting by the Sunday Times and Last week's Panorama which accused three of the Fifa's members of allegedly taking bribes, were given the briefest of mentions.

But perhaps a sign of the white elephant in the room was visible when David Bond, BBC Sports Corespondent relayed live on air that Seth Blatter, Fifa's supremo told his team NOT to forget what the British press had done.

Or was he meant to say Seth told his Fifa colleagues TO forget what the British press had done.

Damn it! It's times like this when you want to exalt an alternative media to find the journalism: the stuff people don't want you to know, rather than the performance.  Yes sticking a lens in Beckham's face is bound to produced the most obvious effect. Polish! So, give us more.

As one famous iconic advert said: where's the beef?

If the bloggers ever wanted to show its Trent Lott colours again, this is it.

Media management
Ah Democracy! Which curiously, perhaps only within the UK, though truth we're not that naive, do some think the activities of the media and government on a world stage are insoluble to who we are as Brits.

Radio 4's been pulling an assortment of programmes together over the last week; some MPs proclaiming how they wouldn't blame the media if England lost the bid. James Naughty, one of the presenters went so far to announce, I hope they don't get it, Russia!

Media and Government are different entities, but you couldn't and shouldn't rule out sour taste when it came to the crunch; a  Fifa official picking up an apple with "English" stamped over it, before the vote.

Media is independent. Quite rightly so. The media did what it needed to do.

However to repeat that point, many of the FIFA members from nations where the media is not as independent as our own, would have baulked in the coffees about giving nation of the three Lions their vote.

Small wonder England were eliminated in the first round - only one vote from a non-English - despite being lauded earlier for their technical and superior commercial bid. Ouch!

According to Bond on Tweeter:

England's second vote came from Issa Hayatou - amazing when one considers he was one of the Panorama three.
But BBC's sports correspondent's comments that the English bid were too late out of the blocks and did too little too secure votes is about to lead to protests from the English bid team.Woops! Again!

Russia, meanwhile will be knocking back the Schnaps, and the rather timid point that Russia doesn't have any stadia and world class transport is likely the biggest red herring.

Russia, the land of deal making and mega private wealth, where if anyone can raise a couple of billion and give two fingers to austerity and budget cutbacks, (what budget cuts?) its supporters think they can. Small point also their natural oil and gas.

Meanwhile, Fifa would have learnt some invaluable lessons from Africa, and its ability to shape an extravaganza according to its likes.

England had everything in place, but the philosophy of the times has changed. Users increasingly want more control of everything.

Fifa, presumably would rather it had more control on architecting new stadia and having its name attached to a legacy that puts Russia's infrastructure into the middle of the 21st century.

So England lost. The recriminations now will play into the hands of those believing the English could shed some of their hubris even in defeat.


What! What do they know about football? Apparently a lot