It’s Russia And Qatar, And The Scale Of The Defeat Means That There Is Shame In Losing


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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21 Responses

  1. An excellent summary. My major objection was always the involvement of MK Dons: utterly shameful and indefensible.

    Although it will look like sour grapes, it really is now time for the press and television to go after FIFA and to drag them through the international courts. The individuals concerned, venal as they appear to be, are less at fault than the junket like process.

    I am sad for Plymouth though.

  2. Martin says:

    Rupert Murdoch’s BBC?


    You need to get the basic facts right

  3. David Howell says:

    Slight correction: it’s Rupert Murdoch’s *Sky*. Though goodness only knows there’s some Tories who would want Rupert Murdoch to run the BBC.

    After this defeat, it is clear that England’s mistake was in bidding at all. As for FIFA, I can’t help but wish this decision can bite them on the backside, and just find it disappointing to know that Sepp Blatter may not live to see Qatar 2022 fail disastrously.

    Seeing as Qatar 2022 is now, scarily, a reality, might we conceive of the practicalities of the heat being mitigated, not by aircon, but by having all of the matches in the late afternoon or evening? The WC needs three matches per day in the first two rounds of group games, probably two-and-a-half hours apart – could they do 5pm, 7:30pm, and 10pm kickoffs local time, reverting to (say) 6pm and 9pm from the final group games onwards? Added bonus of being more, not less, favourable to European television (see also: why the Abu Dhabi GP takes place at sunset).

    Absolutely right on the Wembley rebuilding, by the way. It’s still the third most expensive stadium in the world. It’s the second most expensive stadium in the world without a retractable roof. And now it will never be used for its implicit intended purpose. The right-wing press can attack that spending with barely a hint of hypocrisy…

  4. admin says:

    Thanks, David. Clearly, that was a slip of the fingers brought about in no small part by having written a little over 3,000 words on various subjects.

  5. admin says:

    In answer to your point about evening matches, evening matches wouldn’t be a problem for European or American (north or south) audiences, but they will be a problem the further east you go – a 5pm kick-off would be 9pm in Bangkok, 10pm in Beijing and 11pm in Tokyo, and that’s the earliest kick-off time that you’ve suggested. I have reservations over whether Europe will still be the most lucrative television market by 2022 and I guess you could argue that the best way to maximise television revenues in the USA would have been by giving them the damn tournament in the first place.

  6. Richard says:

    I’m not really in agreement with your comment about the England World Cup bid being incompetent. Of course, two votes does not look good. But you must remember who the people are who are voting. Where our bid really fell down was by not offering bribes to all 23 of the delegates….

  7. mintox says:

    As an Aussie i’m equally as gutted about our one vote as with Englands 2 votes. I don’t believe the process is corrupt rather it’s unfair because it’s not a clearly set out or even playing field.

    Take for example that each of Japan, Korea, Qatar, US, Spain, Belgium, England and Russia get a vote while other bids don’t and many of the FIFA Ex Co members have been sitting in those positions for over 20 years. Not to mention that both votes went against their own FIFA reports that suggested Qatar and Russia weren’t the best bids.

    Surely this bidding process could do with a better structure with each confederation having one vote which is decided by a vote of each and every member of that confederation, at least that way it would take away the questions of corruption.

  8. admin says:

    Indeed, there is clearly a massive issue over a 23 man executive committee voting. I understand that the Australian bid was not without its difficulties, but it seemed odd that it was out-voted by both Japan and South Korea. If I get the chance, I will try to return to the subject of what sort of reform FIFA could make next week – I have to say, however, that the chances of any reform occurring without outside intervention are slim to zero.

  9. Thomas says:

    Hey, if you guys are ready to bolt from FIFA, we Americans are right there with you. Just go browse any of the U.S. blogs and boards today… the Yanks are absolutely livid about this whole thing.

  10. Chris P says:

    “FIFA’s commitment to the environment seems, on the basis of this, to be more or less non-existant.” Just to point out that Qatar’s stadiums will be solar-powered and carbon neutral, or at least that’s what they’re saying!.

  11. Ahmed says:

    “Issues concerning freedom of the press are real, not imagined, and the country’s laws regarding homosexual behaviour are little short of medieval”.

    The first part is a joke. Qatar has the only free press in the middle east, with Al Jazeera. And the second part, about homosexual is stupid. Football itself is homophobic, look at the recent English players refusal to front a kick racism out of football video.

  12. Dotmund says:

    It just struck me that Qatar have of course never qualified for the World Cup before. Can we expect a number of “happenstances” which sees them make their World Cup bow in Brazil or Russia so as to avoid a complete shambles?

    I may well dedicate next Friday’s picture to this subject.

  13. Martin says:

    The only future for football is for the people who actually care about it to run it – the fans.

    Supporters Direct League and FA now!

  14. Ricky Duckworth says:

    I’m more shocked about Qatar! Abismal! They have the MotoGP there and are forced to do it late at night (in Doha) as the searing heat of 46c is too much for the pilots to handle… god knows what WC will be like there! Most of the country is desert!And the laws of no drinking.. that’ll be broken straight away!

  15. Steve says:

    Ian, you are of course correct in saying the process needs investigating further. But do you think FIFA will do anything other than shrug it off even if the most blatant corruption is exposed? The continued FIFA career of Jack Warner suggests not.

  16. admin says:

    Steve, I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that FIFA will do anything about the recently made claims. After the Sunday Times sting, there were a few crocodile tears but nothing substantial will come of it. This is why the media need to keep pushing and prodding – to fine the figurative “smoking gun”.

  17. David Howell says:

    On kickoff times – you are correct that the Asian market will probably have grown a lot by 2022, to the point that earlier kickoffs in Qatar might be optimal. My point was tangential to that, though probably ill-phrased in hindsight; the Qatari heat could be mitigated by later kickoff times (and seemingly this is deemed entirely necessary by others, c.f. Ricky Duckworth’s point on MotoGP), and coincidentally this would mean that as far as TV scheduling is concerned, it’s just like a European tournament. (Compare and contrast with lunchtime kickoffs in Mexico and the US at the behest of television.)

    On the issue of press freedom (notwithstanding how Ahmed is right to point out how Al-Jazeera are based in Qatar):,1034.html

    Qatar are ranked 121st in the world – even lower than their FIFA world ranking, for those who want to snark about that (and I don’t blame them). The Russians are ranked even worse, 140th.

    The countries spared the FIFA circus:

    * England [UK ranked 19th]
    * Netherlands [tied-1st] and Belgium [14th]
    * Spain [39th] and Portugal [40th]

    * USA [20th]
    * Australia [18th]
    * South Korea [42nd]
    * Japan [tied-11th]

    Just to recap, that’s seven bids from countries ranked in the top 50 for press freedom that were unsuccessful, and two from countries ranked well outside the top 100 that were successful.

  18. Micky F says:

    Mintox, you’re right – the process isn’t corrupt. Just the people who administer that process.

    As an Aussie I’m also gutted that we lost out to Qatar, we might not have much WC heritage but we’ve qualified 3 times – they haven’t qualified even once. What they do have is a big pile of cash and it looks like they spent it well.

    The future looks bleak if world football continues to be run by the likes of Blatter and Warner. Probably the only way to fix it is for the UEFA countries to resign from FIFA enmasse, the WC is FIFA’s cash cow and wouldn’t have half the drawing power if there was no team from England, Germany, Italy, France, Spain or the Netherlands competing.

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