Controversial Venues and Accusations of Bribery
Euro 2012 Poland/Ukraine bid: After getting off to a rocky start, Poland has garnered the support and confidence of the UEFA, being awarded the opportunity to host four matches during the Euro 2012 soccer championships. Poland was delayed many times, but it looks like now they may even have the chance to host up to six games at the 2012 FIFA World Cup, as they are reported to have acceptable stadiums in as many cities.
The only problem that many people see is the country’s lack of a modern system of roadways that will allow fans easy travel in between venues for the FIFA World Cup series. This, however, is only one item in a long list of dirty laundry with which the FIFA association has to deal. There is a lot of controversy over its many recent decisions on venues all the way through 2022.
A growing sense of discord and global anger is how the world has responded to FIFA’s decision to award hosting rights to Russia for 2018 and to Qatar for 2022. The United States was beaten by Qatar by a vote of 14 to 8, giving Qatar majority ruling. There is a vast majority that believes these voting practices were surrounded in bribery and controversy. After all, FIFA’s own independent inspectors general rated these two venues with the lowest possible rating for a host city. If that is not enough, the Qatari-owned news station, Al Jazeera, reported the shocking results before the FIFA president had even opened the winning envelope.
Worldwide reaction to these two seemingly out-of-left-field wins has not been in support of FIFA’s decision. President Obama is reported as saying in response to the US bid loss russia ukraine news that FIFA “made the wrong decision.” The Prime Minister of Britain calls the election of Russia “desperately sad.” There are now rumors that FIFA may be replaced with a stronger, more apt governing body, as the sports minister of Britain has described this organization as “not fit for purpose.” Britain especially feels the brunt of this, as they are the country that created and formalized this game over one hundred years ago. A news reporter fueled Britain’s fire all the more by speaking of soccer being invented by the Chinese.
Both England and Australia were defeated in first round voting, in a way that reeked of conspiracy. Even England’s bid chief told reporters that FIFA’s voting populace had lied to their faces. FIFA will most likely not last much longer, as countries are trying to create a new governing body for the world football association.
Another item that sticks out as questionable is the fact that these two bids were awarded simultaneously. This was clearly an effort to create more broadcasting profit for FIFA. It also made bribery and the rigging of votes nearly inevitable. The published voting patterns were highly irregular when compared to voting in other recent elections.
Britain starkly believes that their country lost because British news agencies do not hesitate to broadcast news of the conspiracy genre. FIFA’s response was to punish Britain for pointing out FIFA’s unethical practices.