(FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter, incredulous anyone might be resistant to the charms of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event)
“The more I hear of the World Cup bid, the better I think of bog-snorkelling,” argues the Guardian’s Paul Wilson, and before you conclude this is a favorable review of “Jackass 3D”, be advised the columnist is sick-to-fucking death of Russian bribery allegations. “A row between England and Russia about who has the worse drink and crime culture ought to be entertaining, bidspeak renders it instantly boring,” sighs Wilson, who might’ve unwittingly inspired the greatest straight-to-DVD video since “Scum On The Run”
England lodged a formal complaint with Fifa over derogatory remarks by Russian officials, then withdrew it, for fear it might be interpreted as an attack on their rivals. The Russians have been having a right old go at us but it turns out the guy who called the English bid “primitive” has immunity because he is not a formal member of the bid team. Vyacheslav Koloskov is just the honorary president of the Russian Football Union and a former Fifa executive committee member, so that apparently makes it all right. Anyone interested in this childishness must need his head examining. Anyone trying to make sense of it soon will need his head examining.
You can say the end justifies the means but I am even beginning to lose interest in whether England hosts the 2018 World Cup or not. I dare say it would be fun and I am sure the country would do a good job but none of those considerations seem to count for very much. Fifa are more interested in legacy, which is possibly a euphemism for encouraging host nations to spend beyond their means on stadiums and facilities that quickly become white elephants.
England does not need any more legacy; we already have enough. So what would a World Cup do for us, exactly? It could not possibly give the game a higher profile than it already has. A World Cup here would not introduce the game to a new audience or switch on a younger generation. Make a profit? Yes, but mostly for Fifa.