Contrary to much of what you will read this morning, there was plenty of new information in last night’s Panorama programme which exposed million dollar bribery and corruption in FIFA. The Sun, shamelessly, wraps itself in the flag and takes the opportunity to further News Corporation’s anti-BBC agenda declaring it has ‘sabotaged’ the bid. Inside, Ian Wright labels the programme, “brainless, betraying and cretinous” and “ridiculously unpatriotic”.
Much more surprising has been the reaction from some of our most respected journalists, who seem to have forgotten that they should be wielding the ‘simple sword of truth’ not aiding and abetting cover-ups.
Henry Winter in the Telegraph wrote this today. “Panorama have a right and duty to investigate, even into events a decade old, but sitting on the story until the eve of the World Cup vote smacked of cynical ratings-hunting.”
Er … well isn’t that what the media does Henry? Are we to believe that you have never written a negative story about a club or a manager designed to appear on the morning before a team plays? Are we to believe that if this information had come into your possession you would have sat on it until the cricket season?
What’s more, I’d be interested to know what your current employers, who spearheaded the investigations into MP’s expenses, think about this interpretation of your role as a respected journalist.
I’ll give you another good reason why Panorama got its timing absolutely right. Last night’s programme alleged that Jack Warner, a member of the FIFA Executive Committee ordered $84,240 worth of tickets for World Cup matches in South Africa this summer, in order to sell them on to ticket touts for a huge profit. Today, Mr Warner has breakfast with the Prime Minister.
Two realisations have dawned upon me in recent months. Firstly, England will never win the World Cup in my lifetime. The way the game is set up and governed in this country means that we will never produce the numbers of quality, technically adept, players needed to give the national team coach a realistic chance.
Secondly, England will never host the World Cup in my lifetime. The corruption that is rife within FIFA will see to it that the World Cup goes to those who line some very shady pockets in Zurich.
FIFA’s motto is “For the Good of the Game”, what a load of *’&#!