England’s bid to host the 2018 football world cup suffered a set back yesterday after a BBC Panorama investigation into corruption accused a number of senior FIFA figures of receiving bribes from ISL years ago when the company was bidding for broadcast rights. This may or may not be a good thing from an economic point of view: the costs of hosting are unclear as there will be the costs of upgrading stadia (especially as FIFA dislike English stadiums as they are nestled into towns so cannot provide the space for sponsors’ boards); FIFA also take a large share of the profits, and pay little tax on them. Other economic factors (such as transport) play a part too.
Leaving aside economics though, what was disappointing was the reaction of senior England figures to the Panorama programme. David Cameron, amongst others, rushed to mollify the FIFA executives accused of corruption (several of whom have been convicted of past offences), as if the BBC were the ones in the wrong. How embarrassing, and what a message to send out to those who look to the world cup to promote ‘legacies’.
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Filed in: Sports