Pretty much anyone who even casually follows FIFA exploits is aware of how just dirty those waters are. On the eve of the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, BBC’s Panorama investigative journalism program broadcast an explosive expose of just how bad it is.
Andrew Jennings uncovers not just a massive list of bribes involving current FIFA executives but their stubborn refusal to investigate regardless of the evidence provided to them.
On top of that, those responsible for the Dutch bid published the list of conditions that go along with a successful bid. It was supposed to be a secret FIFA document but the Dutch don’t go for that stuff. Among the eight guarantees FIFA insists host governments (not football associations, governments) must sign to be able to host a World Cup:
- all Visa and entry regulations are thrown out the window for FIFA officials during the World Cup.
- Full tax exemption for FIFA and FIFA subsidiaries. That means no income tax, no consumption taxes, no taxes period from any level of government in the host nation.
- Potentiality of new laws needing to be passed to protect FIFA sponsors
Interestingly, one British MP defended these demands as being similar to what all governments are faced with if they want to host any major event…like the Olympics. Wonder what our government officials signed off on to get the 2010 Games?
The Dutch tried to water down some of the clauses and were sternly told their bid would be treated as deficient if they insisted on the alteration.
Jennings is definitely an agent provocateur and clearly enjoys winding up every corrupt official he can get within shouting distance of, particularly Jack Warner, but the reality is that his finding are very, very damning for FIFA. Unfortunately for the England 2018 bid, with Jennings and the BBC being English, it’s also very damning for their chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup.
England’s best hope now is brinksmanship and the hope they win a staring contest by pressuring the Jack Warners of the world that they will face considerably more scrutiny should England not get the World Cup. Realpolitiks…not a pretty world.
Here’s links to the show, in two parts. Not sure how long it will stay up on YouTube though: