Former English sports minister Sir Hugh Robertson said the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was like “the Wild West” in that “there are no rules.”
The tournaments, awarded to Russia and Qatar, are in the news yet again for the off the pitch reasons due to an absolute mess in how FIFA handled lawyer Michael Garcia’s report on potential improprieties in the bidding process. Many authorities have demanded the release of the full report, and now FIFA’s summation of it.
Robertson got the job in 2010, while the process was going on, and his initial questions as to how England’s bid was going were met with an interesting response.
“I asked the question when I became sports minister about what we were and were not allowed to do, and one of them said, and I quote exactly: ‘There are no rules, it is a Wild West of a bidding process.'”
The MP for Faversham and Mid Kent added: “We’ve been quite honest about what we did and I suspect quite a lot of other bidding nations have not been.
“My guess is there is huge panic behind the scenes at Fifa about what really happened and I would be amazed if we ever get the truth.”
Robertson said Fifa were the “key people” to blame.
He said: “They ran a process that had no clear rules and compounded that error by linking 2018 and 2022, which encouraged the various bidding delegations to trade votes.”
There hasn’t been a single story that’s come out since the investigation began that has even hinted that this could truly be a witch hunt; In fact, it keeps getting worse. Maybe we’ll get a sequel to the FIFA movie, one that’s actually interesting. I’m picturing more like “Michael Clayton” than “United Passions”.