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Press Blamed For England’s WC Demise – FA Denial

The English press often cause a lot of trouble with football clubs and in general, with their sensational and sometimes inappropriate reporting.

And yesterday we heard that the English press were being blamed for England’s pathetic showing in trying to host the 2018 World Cup.

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.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • geoff777

    Dec 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #1

    The BBC and Sunday Times have to be blamed.

    They pulled FIFA’s pants down in public and caused them serious embarrassment.

    The timing of the Panorama program couldn’t have been worse.

    They used license fee money to produce a program that ruined any chance we had of winning the bid.

    The estimated cost to the UK economy of not winning … £3-4billion in tourism, media, and construction.

    The FA, BBC, FIFA & Sunday rags – what a corrupt inept, bunch of organisations …

  • connor1009

    Dec 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #2

    i swear i came onto the Newcastle United blog.

  • Telboy

    Dec 4, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #3

    I wish I could think of a decent way of seriously getting to these institutions. The press get away with far to much and always do it BEFORE an England event. Fair enough the truth should be aired but not at a time it would be damaging to England’s bid. Suggestions welcome.

  • jesus was a geordie

    Dec 4, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #4

    I agree Telboy, it’s a tough one…

    Fifa have no right to be pointing fingers, they should focus their energies on addressing the dirt that’s going on behind barely closed doors instead.

    It’d be like the MP’s blaming the press for their expenses scandal (“it’s not our fault the media grassed us up”) But at the same time, what did the people at the head of the BBC/Daily Mail actually expect would happen? “Ah, England are showing our dodgy dealings, how admirable, they get my vote”

    It seems that common sense has been sorely missing from all sides during this campaign!

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 4, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #5

    Blatter may refuse to give the BBC broadcasting rights. Then we will know who or what did the damage.

  • davcon22

    Dec 4, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #6

    I dont agree with when the programme was aired,and it probably did affect our chance of winning the bid.But what it did also do is prove that the men at the top of our game are as bent as a nine bob bit,and also havent got the guts to
    tell our delegates at the final presentation day that they wouldnt be supporting England,for what ever reason,instead they blatently lie to a Prime minister and a future king.Have they no shame???
    If this insitution was clean,what they should have been doing after the Panarama program was shown was thanking the BBC for bringing all of the back handers out in the open,then anouncing an investigation in to the allegations,but no,blatter announces before the voting that the British press are evil liars,pretty much punishing the english public,for our press letting the cat out of the bag.Even if Blatter has been getting any brown envelopes,he’s as guilty as the ones who have,for burying his head in the sand.
    These men are untouchable and will continue to serve their own interests before anything else.
    SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!!!!

  • Sav

    Dec 5, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    Comment #7

    Firstly, if you are seriously suggesting freedom of the press should be curtailed to aid the England World Cup bid, you are losing any sense of perspective and proportion. The one is far more important than the other.
    Secondly are you saying the BBC and Sunday Times are ‘gossip press’ because they revealed some inconvenient truths? Were those exposes valid or not?

    FIFA’s WC is a toilet.
    Their whole system of selection is a disgrace.
    And if FIFA are a corrupt, undemocratic autocratic organisation, why then does England (and every other bidding nation) kow-tow, grovel and toadie to them? England paraded the Prime Minister, Prince William, Bobby Charlton, Big Al and other household names, like a Norwegian commentator’s wet dream before the despicable, self-agrandising nobody, Sepp Blatter. He is a little man whose sole aim is to use his position, shrouded in secrecy (for instance, does anyone know how much his salary is?) to get himself on an equal platform as world leaders. I was glad Mandela gave the little Swiss squirt short shrift in South Afdrica.

    This whole system of pitching for the gig, wasting millions currying agreements evidently with a pack of liars who said they would back the UK bid is a demeaning and unsatisfactory way to determine the best host for the WC. At least David Beckham took defeat in this shabby endeavour with good grace.

    It would have been far better, in the light of corruption charges which it seems no-one seriously denies, had England withdrawn its bid in a bid for change in the way FIFA is run. But
    if you lie down with a pig, you are going to smell like one. I can’t help thinking if we had poured as much effort into campaigning for reform of FIFA, it would have been a lot more beneficial to us and the game.

    Instead of being justly proud of having a country which sponsors open and responsible programmes like Panorama, it seems that it was regarded as something of an embarrassment and a hindrance to ‘our’ bid and this blog thread confirms that impression.

  • Sav

    Dec 5, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed, you say “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.”

    Isn’t that exactly what Panorama did?
    It WAS inconvenient and embarrassing to FIFA. And because that MAY have scuppered our bid, the success of which seems to be the only outcome that matters here, you are doing the opposite of what you are recommending for others.

  • terencemag

    Dec 5, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    Comment #9

    The press is not the main issue. The only cancer in England is Alex ferguson-who works together with the South East Asian illegal bookie to win them titles and this is how the English games are changed and ruined.


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