In 2007, FIFA vice-president Jack Warner said this about England's 2018 World Cup bid:
"There are moves to give it to England
and I must fight that. If, by chance, in 2018 the World Cup were to go to Europe, I'm
quite sure, with the English luck as it is, they won't
get it. It'll be Italy, Spain
or it might be France.
Nobody in Europe likes England.
- who invented the sport - has never had any impact on world football. England at no time has had the love and support
of Europe. For Europe, England is an irritant."
following year, he executed a remarkable volte face by throwing his support
behind the FA's bid.
chose to show that support in an interesting way yesterday when he said the
"My colleagues are
saying very quietly that the guys who are coming to them (from England)
are lightweight. This is the type of thing that loses you a bid. England's attributes surpass any
other country. I would have been more aggressive in the market place. If I had
the Premier League, Beckham and the Queen, there would have been many things I
could have done for the people who are voting ... I am saying if they do not
get their act together they will lose. You have no divine right to anything -
you have to earn it."
Warner's passive-aggressive assault shows just how
difficult it is to mount a successful World Cup bid, and how little it has to
do with football.
Among England's crimes, according to Warner, are the failure to
get David Beckham to schmooze FIFA delegates, and allowing themselves to be
ambushed by the Australian and Qatari bids, which handed out goody bags at a
In short, nothing
at all to do with whether the country is fit to host the tournament.
ED suggest England send a troupe of juggling seals to the next conference; that should have the delegates rolling in the aisles.
- - -
Little more than
48 hours before Ukraine-England, the nation's
press have completed a u-turn so big it is visible from space.
outrage that fans would not be able to see the game on TV, they have rather
warmed to the idea of pay-per-view streaming as they will be the ones creaming
off a percentage of the £11.99 fee.
The Sun loves to
tout itself as the voice of the nation - so much so its political coverage
consist largely of vox-pops asking white van men and Page 3 girls for their
views on the Lisbon Treaty's
But this populist schtick has been put on hold until Sunday
at least, as the paper rolls out features bigging up the streaming venture.
It also, in
common with the other papers, takes great delight in pretending to supply
anything more than a link to www.ukrainevengland.com
The Sun's ad reads:
'Watch Ukraine v England live on SunSport!
England's World Cup qualifier in the Ukraine is not
available to watch on the TV, but SunSport has come to the rescue.
You can watch the full game live on
your PC on October 10 by signing up for our superb new pay-per-view service.'
Well gee, thanks, SunSport! Take my £11.99, my eternal
gratitude and my dignity!
Fans misguided enough to shell out for the game will be
particularly enraged to hear The Sun's
online editor Pete Picton say: "It
would have been better if England hadn't already qualified, meaning this match
is less crucial for people to watch, but we've
got a chance to find out if it works."
While The Sun
conducted a Stasi-like purge of any criticism of the broadcast from its website,
The Daily Mail rose to even greater heights of cynicism.
an article about 'raging England fans' with invitations to empty your wallet in exchange for
a grainy stream of a match available free to subscribers of a major internet
correctly diagnosed that nobody is going to pay twelve quid to watch the game,
the Mirror has plonked itself on the moral high ground by refusing to stream
by John Cross correctly points out the sudden lack of criticism of the web-only service, but he
rather blots his copybook by talking about the BBC iPlayer like it is as
impenetrable as a nuclear defence shield.
- - -
Hoddle has revealed the bomb plot that threatened England's
1998 World Cup game against Tunisia in Marseille; the bench contained big-name
Charlies including David Beckham, Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand and, er, Rob Lee.
said: "There had been lots of trouble on the streets the night before. I
didn't know at the time, but I was
told years later that people were trying to blow up the England bench.
It didn't cross my mind that something
like that was happening."
Is it wrong that ED immediately suspected Paul Gascoigne, controversially left
out of the final squad in a blaze of tears, acrimony and Kenny G?
Hoddle did not specify what terrible act he had committed to
deserve karmic retribution so severe it almost made him the victim of a
terrorist atrocity, but ED suspects Diamond Lights might have had something to
do with it.
- - -
THE DAY: The ever-eloquent Joey Barton opens his heart on revealing his bust-up
with Chris Hughton: " I shouldn't
have said what I said when I said it. I'm
not saying what I said was not right."
FOREIGN VIEW: Japan coach Takeshi Okada has expressed
annoyance at Scotland after finding out they had sent a shadow squad for this
weekend's Kirin Cup game following
the withdrawal of no fewer than 10 players.
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher of Manchester United and Tottenham
Hotspur defender Alan Hutton were the latest pullouts from coach George Burley's squad, which is also missing a host of
established players such as Kenny Miller, James McFadden and Gary Naysmith.
"We have only just heard now by
telephone," Okada said. "Now we'll
have to rethink all of our plans for who starts what matches."