Does money buy the biggest sporting event in the world now?
By Dark Politricks
As the World Cup gets on its way tonight with the first match between hosts Brazil and Croatia, we should remember that FIFA who run World Football, are mired in scandal, bribery and backhanders.
Investigations by the Sunday Times have shown that leading members of FIFA took bribes to vote for the outrageous bid by the Qatar to hold the World Cup in 2022.
In fact important figures in world football are already voicing their support for a 2022 World Cup re-vote if FIFA finds that new allegations voters were bribed are true.
Forgetting that the whole concept of playing football in 50℃ heat is mad!
I can remember the 1994 USA World Cup with players almost fainting in the heat, water bottles being thrown onto the pitch, and lazy slow football being played due to tired out players.
How Qatar is supposed to hold an event without building air-conditioned football stadiums, and I am sure some people are already thinking along those lines, I don't know.
It seems the only way players will be able to run for 90 minutes, let alone entertain a dry crowd due to the absence of alcohol and the seemingly necessity of supporters to consume large amounts of it before and after games.
Will Qatar make an exception and open its arms to thousands of England and Dutch fans who want to drink beer from noon to night or will they make examples of supporters caught drunk and doing the usual antics found at any major football event?
The Sunday Times investigation found that Qatar's top football official, Mohammed bin Hammam, used a slush fund of $5m to bribe FIFA officials with 25 FIFA delegates receiving $200,000 in cash after being flown out to Malaysia to discuss the bid.
The same disgraced and now banned official paid cash into the Presidents of 30 African football associations to get their votes and that even more cash was handed out just before the vote that was met with disbelief from other bidding nations.
This included England who lost out to Russia in the same bidding process for the 2018 World Cup. They had even brought in Royalty with Prince William alongside David Beckham leading the bid.
Even the UK PM was angry at the decision and claimed they had been lied to.
He said: “Every person we met whether it was the head of the FA in this part of the world, or that part of the world, they all said, ‘Yes, of course we’re going to vote for England to host the World Cup’, and then they voted completely the other way. We ended up, I think, with one vote.
“I’ll always remember Beckham saying to me, ‘I can cope with being lied to, but I can’t cope with people lying to the Prime Minister and the future king’.
However allegations of bribery at FIFA are not new and they have followed FIFA President Sepp Blatter for years and he stuck two fingers up at the investigation and his critics when he announced recently his decision to run for a sixth terms as the top dog in World Football and said the attacks on FIFA were all down to racism by UK investigations by the Sunday Times.
The head of the English football association, Lord Triesman, stood up in Parliament on Wednesday and used his parliamentary privilege to attack FIFA as a "mafia" and call Blatter corrupt.
"FIFA, I'm afraid, behaves like a mafia family. It has a decades-long tradition of bribes, bungs and corruption," he said during a debate in the House of Lords, according to Sky News. "Systematic corruption underpinned by non-existent investigations where most of the accused are exempt from the investigation make it impossible to proceed."
However it is not just FIFA who puts money first when it comes to football. As football fans around the world get ready for tonight's first game between Brazil and Croatia in a country who has won the World Cup 5 times already, not every Brazilian will be cheering.
Brazil itself has been mired in scandal and protests for putting their World Cup bid in front of the needs of millions of poor Brazilians.
Protests and riots have been common place in a country where many believe the money lavished on holding the World Cup should have been spent on social programmes instead.
From a recent USA today article:
The World Cup also is producing an outpouring of anger over the $11.3 billion the government plans to spend on the tournament when the once-booming economy has slowed, major cities are choked by traffic gridlock, public hospitals and schools remain underfunded and millions of Brazilians live in extreme poverty.
Last June, more than a million people in dozens of cities around the country took to the streets to protest an increase in ticket prices for public transportation. In recent months, teachers went on strike in Rio de Janeiro, bus drivers went on strike in São Paulo and police officers went on strike in 14 Brazilian states. This week, security forces used tear gas to break up a strike of subway workers in São Paulo.
So future World Cups have already been marked as being rigged and bought and paid for with cash and FIFA has done itself no favours with it's corrupt bidding process and it's attitude to the investigations into the scandals.
Sepp Blatter obviously wants a job for life as the top man of World Football and who can blame him when he gets paid so well whenever a major tournament comes around.
So whilst the slums of São Paulo are cleared so that the city can look nice to tourists and immigrant workers die in Qatar to build the stadiums in slave like conditions, we should remember that not everyone will be happy when the first whistle is blown tonight in Brazil.
See the original article "It seems like money buys world football as the Brazil World Cup kicks off tonight" at the main site www.darkpolitricks.com.