The English press often cause a lot of trouble with football clubs and in general, with their sensational and sometimes inappropriate reporting.
At least four of the FIFA delegates who voted on Thursday, have since said their decision not to vote for England was because of the English media – so what do the FA do?
They say they don’t believe it.
The FA was well advised to find out what was going on with that vote, when England acquired only 2 votes in the first round, and one of them was their own.
That’s so they could see what they did wrong, if anything, and need to do differently, if they are to ever bid again for the World Cup, which seems unlikely anytime soon.
This is what one delegate – Japan’s FIFA executive committee member told the BBC yesterday:
“I thought England was a very strong candidate,” “Their presentation was one of the best presentations.”
“But I think there was a big influence from the BBC and the Sunday Times. These reports possibly influenced people. It made damage for some people.”
And when they did get the answer, and it’s presumably not what they wanted to hear – the England 2018 bid chief executive, Andy Anson, said he didn’t believe the vote had anything to do with the media.
Andy Anson thought the problem was that FIFA president Blatter spoke to members of the executive committee about the evil of the media, just before the vote:
“I think that was unhelpful – the last thing those guys hear before they go and tick the box is the evil of the media. That is not helpful and actually inaccurate.”
“I was told by someone who was in the room that that’s the last thing they were told by Sepp Blatter.”
“There was a final sum-up before they voted and I think it was at the beginning of that. That’s not helpful to our cause.”
But surely if the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panarama hadn’t written those stories, then nobody could have blamed the English press, so isn’t Andy saying the same thing – it was indeed the English press that caused the demise?
That talk was only unhelpful to the English bid, because only the English media were being seen as being evil – and that’s the inconvenient truth.
The FA asked the delegates what was wrong with England’s bid, and presumably because they didn’t get the right answer – they say they don’t believe it.
You have to be mature, and seek the real truth, and then confront whatever that may be – not deny things – if the reasons turn out to be rather inconvenient and even embarrassing.
But the FA are saying they want to keep a free press in England – and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that the English gossip press go their own way to publish stories – which are often untimely and inappropriate – even when they know they may be detrimental to the England bid.
More mature people would never do that.
It could be that our demise was self inflicted, and we have to be big enough to confront that, if it is indeed true, however hard that may be.
We don’t know if those stories actually hurt the World Cup bid, but we know for sure – they certainly didn’t help it.