A compelling article from Guardian.co.uk here lists the extraordinary measures the UK team is going to to stay in the running.
What is amazing to me is how for the UK will go to get this bid. From the article:
The letter declares England 2018's "solidarity and support" for Fifa's response to newspaper allegations; highlights "representations" to the BBC over a forthcoming Panorama programme it fears could fatally undermine England's chance of winning the bid; and refers to the two executive committee members who have been provisionally suspended as "our friends".Whoa!
There are two things that strike me there.
First, the willingness to cozy up to individuals that have been provisionally suspended by FIFA. Now, I am all for an "innocent until proven guilty" prospect, but I am also for letting the system do it's work. This move by the UK bid team seems a little too "kissy-face" with FIFA for my liking. In fact they are lying down with the very corruption that is being rooted out.
If the UK bid team believes in these individuals and their innocence, say it ... publicly. None of this note passing, back door, we really want to go to the prom with you not that other girl, rubbish.
Second, the press, specifically the BBC, is playing a very interesting role in this, and quite a correct one I would opine. They are bringing some much needed sunlight to the whole situation regarding the bid process and have exposed it for how corrupt it truly is. That itself is something. But also is how the press is potentially killing the UK's bid ... even as the UK has not been implicated (yet) into any wrongdoing here. Yet their bid ... a virtual lock for 2018 ... is now being shunned. And by whom? By the FIFA EXCOMM of course.
Well, that's interesting.
Now I'll go out on a limb here.
I'll bet my flipping coin that if the BBC airs their documentary about FIFA corruption, the UK loses the bid. If they refrain, the UK will win it.
From the article:
Dein and the England 2018 chief executive, Andy Anson, recently met the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, and head of sport, Barbara Slater, over the Panorama documentary, which they fear could tip the balance conclusively.For a little old fashioned arm twisting no doubt.
Truly amazing now how FIFA could potentially use the UK bid team as its puppet to twist the arm of the UK media to try stop the press on a documentary that no doubt will cast FIFA in a poor light, but in the long haul will do nothing but cast the much needed sunlight onto the process.