FIFA President Sepp Blatter has decided to rub salt in the wounds of England’s football authorities by calling them ‘bad losers’ following the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia.
The English media and football authorities had reacted to their bid’s defeat with an outpouring of accusation and petulance, citing the corrupt and unsatisfactory method of selecting the hosts among other reasons why the Russian win was unfair.
“I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fair play ideas. Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers,” the Swiss President said.
Quite how this is supposed to help heal wounds in the global football community is unclear.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron also put his foot in it, in an escalating war of words between England and FIFA.
He took a pot shot at FIFA on Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Question Time when he was asked in Parliament what he thought about football’s governing body after his experience of supporting England’s bid.
“I certainly learned one thing which is when it comes to breaking promises – politicians have got nothing on football management,” he laughed.
Perhaps he had forgotten about the English FA’s gentleman’s agreement to back the German 2006 bid, a promise which the FA subsequently broke and even launched a rival bid.
Adding to the ping pong of stupidity, Blatter combatted:
“There is no systematic corruption in FIFA. That is nonsense.We are financially clean and clear.”
We shall soon see. The Swiss have decided to tackle the thorn in their rose bushes.
Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Minister for Sport, announced yesterday that the Swiss Sports Agency (Bundesamt fur Sport BASPO – Fur den Sport und die Bewegung in der Schweiz) had been charged with investigating wrongdoing among the near fifty international sports bodies, including the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne and UEFA, which are based in the country.
FIFA is one of the largest and presumably one of the main targets.