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Football Clean-up?

  • May 23rd, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

fifa-logo-design.jpgIre over the selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, last  December, has fed into fresh investigations into corrupt practices within FIFA – the world soccer federation.
The inquiries were sited in London, with complementary work by a parliamentary committee, the Football Association and the Sunday Times newspaper.

The investigations included an iteration of charges made under privilege against two officials, from Cameroon and Ivory Coast, that they took million-dollar bribes.

Officials in Qatar on Monday publicly stated the bribery claims were wrong and unsubstantiated.

The bid by the small Gulf emirate to host the great event was shouldered ahead of well organised campaigns by Australia, England, Japan and the United States – a surprise win for a country with plenty of money but far less standing on the football pitch.

Amid suggestions FIF might consider a fresh ballot for the World Cup spot, the Australian government, a warm backer of the 2010 campaign, said it would not be getting up its hopes.

Silly season …

The revived disturbance over the Qatar affair coincided with weekend events close to topping the Eurovision Song Contest for a bizarre take on the important things in life — the battle to stay in the Premier League.

The three teams eliminated from the competition this time were Birmingham City, Blackpool and West Ham United.

Twenty clubs play in the top league each year; Manchester United usually wins (sometimes challenged by Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool – Blackburn Rovers being the only other one to have won); for the rest of the teams the contest is avoid relegation to the Championship league, the next one down.

The relegation war can get as much attention as the final; and there is even a special kind of tussle for elevation into the Premier league. The Champion team and the runner-up go straight in, but the #3 spot has to be fought over in a special round among six clubs. Quaint.

Reference

David Bond, “Football Association widens Fifa corruption inquiry”, BBC Sports, London, 20.5.11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/13469795.stm, (23.5.11).

The Star, Johannesburg, “Qatar deny bribery allegations”, 23.5.11.
http://www.thestar.co.za/qatar-deny-bribery-allegations-1.1072673, (23.5.11).

Press.Co.NZ, Wellington, “Australia cautious about 2022 vote re-run”, 23.5.11.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/sport/football/5044819/Australia-cautious-about-2022-vote-re-run, (23.5.11).

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