Thursday, December 2, 2010

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Kicking Back's take: Mr. Putin is trying really hard to make sure FIFA does not get confused between England and Russia and giving the EXCOMM a clear choice between those who are "friends of FIFA", and "those who are not."

It all smacks a bit hollow to me as "election fraud", and Putin would seem to go hand in hand. 

Putin Sees Conspiracy in Criticism of FIFA

MOSCOW — Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir V. Putin, responded angrily to allegations of corruption in world soccer’s governing body on Wednesday, suggesting that some members of the body were being “smeared” in an effort to undermine his country’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

Russia has been locked in a battle with England and several other countries for the right to host the World Cup, and political intrigue has intensified in the run-up to the vote in Switzerland scheduled for Thursday, which will also decide the host of the 2022 tournament. A public affairs program broadcast on the BBC this week accused officials from FIFA, soccer’s governing body, of taking kickbacks and other wrongdoing, the latest in a spate of similar allegations.

“Regretfully, we have recently witnessed an obvious campaign against some members of the FIFA Executive Committee,” Putin said at a cabinet meeting in Moscow. ...

Full story continues here, courtesy of the NYT.

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