22 July, 2010

Why Australia Won't Get the 2022 World Cup

According to FIFA bylaws regarding the bid selection:
The Member Association and the Bid Committee shall conduct any activities in relation to the Bidding Process in accordance with basic ethical principles such as integrity, responsibility, trustworthiness and fairness. The Member Association and the Bid Committee shall refrain from attempting to influence members of the FIFA Executive Committee or any other FIFA officials, in articular by offering benefits for specific behavior.
Well, first, let me say, ha-ha. Second, sorry, still laughing, it is basically stating you can't bribe an Ex-Co to win a bid. Third, ha-ha, that is such a joke. You see, FIFA created some rules for their own members back in 2004 that prevents them from accepting:

  1. any monetary gifts (i.e.- no cash bribes, too easy to trace)
  2. any kind of personal offers that can be construed as influence buying (say like Australia offering offering to fly certain executives to Australia for their birthday, check).
  3. any benefit, opportunity, promise, renumeration, or service of individuals in connection with the Bid. (ah, loophole!)
Loophole, you say? Sure. Here's how. Say you are Australia and are looking to bid for the 2022 World Cup. You of course should want to bid for the 2018 WC as well and you want to make sure you win one of the two. FIFA comes out and says, "We want the WC to be in Europe every other WC." Never mind that 2 selections ago they said that they want to rotate continents, or that after SA won their bid they changed our minds and said it should go to countries with developed infrastructure and fan support.

As an Aussie Bid Rep, what are you to do? Well, first, you try to parlay dropping the bid for 2018 by twisting some arms to vote for you for 2022 by offering them your vote for 2018. Done. Then, before you officially submit your Bid Book, you send every one of the 24 Ex-Co wives about $50,000 in jewelry each. Not a bribe if you did it before you bid. You just really care about those women having to struggle through life without a means of support.

Hmmm, what else can you do? Well, you could bribe CONCACAF resident crony, I mean president crony, I mean Jack Warner by providing an all expenses paid trip for the Trinidad & Tobago U20 side to play in a tourney in Cyprus. Hey, bribing Jack Warner with gifts may have worked for England for the 2018 bid.

What else? How bout hiring two of the most ruthless and connected con men in soccer circles? Peter Hartigay and Fedor Radmann. Done and done. What's so special about these two you ask? Remember Bhopal, India and Union Carbide? No, couple thousand dead Indians because of toxins released by the company. Lot of claims made for monetary reimbursement for deaths, but little to no pay out? Guess who was in on the Union Carbide attempts to block payments? Peter Hartigay. Also, these two have connections in Switzerland with computer hacking services as well as Hartigay having worked for Top 10 Most Wanted US Criminal Marc Rich (currently residing in Zug, Switerland). Oh, and these two were hired for a mere ~$10 million dollars. Did I forget to mention that the Australia bid is government sponsored to the tune of $40 million? So 1/4 of the tax payer dollars goes to these two. I didn't, hmmm how forgetful of me.

Then comes the realization that those dirty Americans are trying to pull a trump card. See, you need 13 votes of Ex-Co members (there are 24 total members) to win a WC bid. Jack Warner has 3 as he is CONCACAF. Europe has 6. How about the Americans drop the WC 2018 bid and give 3 votes to the country that will guarantee them 6 votes during the 2022 bid? What? USSF President Sunil Gulati is already offering that, according to Mihir Bose? And you say that the 1994 WC in the US was the best attended and averaged the most number of fans per game despite having 16 fewer games than the present day WC format? Damn, that's just wrong.

What is a country got to do to win a World Cup bid around here? And damn... you mean to tell me China is going to bid on 2026? What?! Those guys just fired like half of their federation for corruption and FIFA did nothing about it. FIFA wants to get in China so bad it's like watching a bad snuff film. This sucks. We better figure it out soon, cause the US is angling hard to get that 2022 bid.

*And I speak too soon. FIFA, in it's omnipresent role, has determined that Australia has done "nothing wrong". Yeah, that's like sending me into a strip club with $1000 and then telling the wife that they only gave me the money if I promised to spend it in the strip club, what else was I supposed to do with it?


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