England lost Fifa 2018 because Russia paid more And Seb Coe was upwind
The Sun says FA Chairman Greg Dyke ‘fears a string of World Cups have been awarded with a “pile of bungs”‘.
But doesn’t every country bidding to host the World Cup wine, dine, promise and flatter?
England lost out to Russia for the right to host the 2018 tournament, coming fourth in the vote. There is talk that the FA will bid to host the 2026 World Cup finals.
In 2010, Sebastian Coe, now president of the IAAF, was part of the 2018 bid team. He said “The feedback is good”. He said “It smells OK.” Well, it might. But when you lift your nose from the trough, the stench is unbearable.
England entire bid was an exercise in ego-polishing and schmoozing. Prince William, David Cameron and David Beckham all pulled on their best smiles and wined and dined Fifa’s knobs. Coe said Beckham sprinkled the bid with “stardust”.
The Mail reported:
Beckham had been deployed with Prince William and the Prime Minister in targeting specific FIFA ExCo voters who might be persuaded to back an England bid that now has a genuine chance of success.
‘To have the future king of England saying, “Have we got your vote?” is a good weapon, and he has a wedding coming up, too! To have him here, and the Prime Minister, it doesn’t get much better than that.’ Beckham said he feels the ‘expectation of our country’ on his shoulders and while the secret ballot points to England taking on Spain in the final vote, it looks too close to call. The Russians certainly appear to be in disarray in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s decision not to come to Zurich.
Beckham also had sessions with the CONCACAF representatives [turned Supergrass] Chuck Blazer and Rafael Salguero, who are crucial to the England cause from round one. Prince William also saw the North American duo following a 7am breakfast with Nicolas Leoz, the Paraguayan who was also accused of taking bribes by Panorama.
The Guardian told us:
A payment of £35,000 by England’s 2018 World Cup bid to cover a gala dinner for Caribbean officials is being investigated by the Fifa ethics investigator Michael Garcia, it can be disclosed.
Garcia questioned England 2018 officials about picking up the bill for the Trinidad dinner during interviews in London last year as part of his investigation into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The dinner was part of efforts to woo the then influential Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, who has since quit football in disgrace…
It can also be revealed that Garcia is looking into all friendly matches played by bidding nations with the countries of Fifa executive committee members before the 2010 vote.
England’s friendly against Trinidad in June 2008 is unlikely to be called into question as it took place before the bid was officially registered in 2009, even though the FA had announced some time before the match that it was bidding.
Remember the handbags? They seemed a tiny thing at the time – a homage to Lady Thatcher, perhaps – but the luxury accessories lined up for the wives of Fifa’s World Cup voters were the first sign that England’s 2018 bid thought it could play a dirty political game while pinching its nose.
Such are the facts.