Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Straight Race - update
So further action to save face, and no doubt a number of decoy stories thrown the journalists' way in the next few weeks by Messrs. Blatter et al. But...where does it leave Australia's quest for 2022?
Probably in slightly better shape, as a matter of fact. Frank Lowy is too skilful an operator to leave himself and the FFA open to allegations of out-and-out bribery, however many suspicious deals may have been done in the interests of making Australia 2022 a reality. If there are any buried bodies to be exhumed in a subsequent clean-up, they are unlikely to be found on the dry continent. And if the whiff of probity becomes a factor of sorts for FIFA in the 2022 decision, Australia is well-placed to take advantage, given our general sporting reputation.
The fallout from the sting is more likely to affect the 2018 bidders more directly. The England team can't be happy that investigative journalists from their own land have severely embarrassed FIFA at such a delicate stage, and the incident could just hand the initiative for 2018 to Russia. Not that a World Cup in Russia is a particularly edifying thought, given the rampant corruption and lurking racism likely to affect it. On the latter point, a moment of comic relief: in the midst of rubbishing his chief opponents, the Russian bid leader came up with a classic knee-slapper recently. With regard to the disgusting abuse levelled at Nigerian winger Peter Odemwingie by the fans of his former club...
Sorokin went on to again insist that a banner with a picture of a banana aimed at West Brom's striker Peter Odemwingie and produced by fans of his former club Lokomotiv Moscow was not racist, and he points out that anti-Glazer fans had burned an American flag at Old Trafford on the same day.
"The banner was not a racist one. It was directed against a particular player who got very good money, lived very well here, but for some reason did not seem to want to play well."
Who on earth does he think he's kidding?
I've been looking forward to the decision being over, whatever it may be, so the FFA can get back to concentrating on severely neglected local matters. Mainly, of course, but not only, the A-League.
Such a shame as China will def get one soon enough which means I will be 80 by the time we have a chance as good as this again.