A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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We would have staged a great World Cup
02/12/2010 18:13:00

Earlier today, FIFA announced that the 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

If they had a published policy of taking the World Cup to countries that haven't hosted it before, I could understand this decision at least in relation to Russia.

But that isn't their policy. Everyone says we had the best technical and economic reports and fantastic inspection visits, Sepp Blatter described our final presentation as "excellent and remarkable" and yet we get just 2 votes, one of them from our own representative. What does that tell you about the integrity of FIFA?

It is absolutely gutting. Personally I'm not much bothered about the Olympics. Football is our national game. I wasn't born in 1966 and I now need to face the fact that I will probably never get to see a World Cup in this country.

The consensus seems to be that coverage of FIFA in the British media - and the recent Panorama programme in particular - has counted against us. If that is the case, we should be angry with FIFA, not the BBC. What does it say about them as an organisation that they regard having a free press as a bad thing?

Commiserations to everyone from Prince William and the Prime Minister down who worked hard on the bid. Incidentally, it’s a shame that whilst the Prime Minister was putting England’s case in Zurich one of Ed Miliband’s senior staffers was making churlish party political points back at home. The World Cup bid should have been above party politics.

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