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World Cup


Swiss swoop on corruption in sport

Various allegations have been made about corruption in Fifa, although none of them have been substantiated in a court of law.  One of the difficulties in investigating whether these allegations have any substance is that Fifa is not really accountable to anyone.

Bristol stadium plans not hit by World Cup blow

The decision not to allocate the 2018 World Cup to England will not affect Bristol City's plans to build a new stadium.  After all, you don't build a stadium for just four games.  Well, perhaps you do in Qatar, but they intend to dismantle them and send them to poor countries afterwards, one of the incentives they offered to boost their bid.  

Burden quits as Fifa fallout grows

The big breaking football news this morning is that acting FA chairman Roger Burden has quit in the wake of England's failed World Cup bid.   He feels that he can no longer trust Fifa officials and work with them and one can understand where he is coming from.

World cup blow for Argyle

The failure to secure the 2018 World Cup for England is a particular blow for Plymouth Argyle who could have hosted a group stage at Home Park.   However, the executive director of the club has denied allegations by some fans that the World Cup was what brought him to Plymouth in the first place.

Day of disappointment

England's failure to become host nation for the 2018 World Cup is disappointing.   Receiving only two votes and being eliminated on the first round is even more so.   Despite the optimism emanating from the English camp on the day, I was not surprised that England didn't win.   I was surprised that Russia did, although perhaps I shouldn't have been.  I was even more surprised that we finished behind Belgium and the Netherlands.

England bid has the big mo

Reports from Zurich suggest that the England bid for the 2018 World Cup is gathering momentum at just the right time, the last lap.  But will it be enough to carry the bid across the finishing line?  We will know this afternoon.

Only England can meet Fifa sales targets

A study has concluded that only England can meet Fifa's sales targets for the 2018 World Cup.  However, Spain and Portugal - the real competitors - can meet 91 per cent of the targets.

Indications from Zurich suggest that this is increasingly a contest between England and the Iberian countries.   Belgium and the Netherlands were never front runners in my view and Russia has been falling away fast.

Panorama programme was a mistake

Having watched last night's BBC Panorama programme on Fifa, I am even more convinced that its screening at that time was mistake.   Its defenders will no doubt point out that it exposed apparent serious corruption on the part of three Fifa officials, if one is to believe the contents of the document flourished on the programme which had arrived in a brown envelope from a 'trusted source'.

Who will host the 2018 World Cup?

The smart money is now on Spain and Portugal hosting the 2018 World Cup.   Spain are the World Cup holders; they have one of the best two leagues in the world (some would say the best); and both countries have some impressive stadia.   Transport links by rail within Spain have improved by leaps and bounds.

Pink 'un slams Fifa

The Lex column in the Financial Times has published a searing attack on Fifa after it decided to change none of its procedures for handling bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after recent revelations.   Quite rightly, Lex argues that Fifa lacks transparency and adequate decision-making procedures.