Brian GlanvillePhaedra Al Majid has spoken. Qatar, she assures us, didn’t but the 2022 Word Cup as she had previously stated: the former international media officer for Qatar had lied.

She had “wanted revenge after losing her job.” Her “lies had gone too far,” and she had signed a legal affidavit retracting her allegations.

Do we believe her as we believed her then: remembering that in the interim Bin Hammam of Qatar had been found guilty by the FIFA ethics committee of trying, for huge sums of money, to bribe members of CONCACAF.

For my part, I find it impossible to believe that Qatar, that wretched little anonymity of a football country, with its summer steam heat, would ever have been able to acquire the World Cup – even with the vote and support for a winter tournament of the deluded Michel Platini. I’ve no idea what caused Phaedra so radically to change her mind. Well, no: I think I can hazard a guess.

Meanwhile, in Harare, Dracula met the Wolf Man. That horrible murdered and starver of his people Robert Mugabe, was photographed cosying up to the shameless Sepp Blatter. And what was the ineffable president of FIFA doing in Zimbabwe anyway? He has after all by whatever expedient hung on to the presidency for the next four years, so he wouldn’t even need Zimbabwe’s vote. Each picture, as we know, tells a story, and what an emetic story this was.

In Westminster, the so-called Culture Media and Sport committee of dull blowhards has recently and uselessly wagged a rheumatic finger at FIFA, and impugned the English bid for the 2018 World Cup.

I would readily admit that the bid committee, under the ineffectual Andy Anson, an Adam Crozier-like figure who seems perpetually to be employed in profitable work, cut a feeble figure in Zurich. Now to grovel as the blessed Lord Triesman had, to the repugnant Jack Warner, now seemingly reduced in his native Trinidad to a glorified inspector of trains.

Anson and co. had told us that they’d never realised FIFA meant to give those two World Cups to countries which had never had one before – oh no, not countries which had bribed them! And crassly blamed Panorama for that programme on the evening of voting, when they showed us what Augean stable it all was. For the benefit of the Culture and All that’s blockheaded members, the only way the admittedly wasted £15 million could have been successfully spent would alas have been in bribing the voting FIFA committee members.

Russia, in the interim, can be glad that Qatar so blatant in its skullduggery, has for the moment at least taken the heat off them. Quite apart from the appalling racism which afflicts the crowds at Russian football, as Roberto Carlos has found to his dismay – a volley of bananas discharged at him being the latest humiliation – it has been pointed out that Russia’s creaking, dated, dangerous domestic aircraft regularly crash and represent a hazard to those unfortunate fans who will have to fly in them.

  • JB Knight

    —> David

    Surely the caveat “of a football country” is essential in the meaning of “wretched little anonymity” in the article’s context; no?

    At any rate the “witch-hunt” against the Qataris spoken of is quite specifically against those, of Qatari and other nationalities, who have proved highly corruptable. I suppose they are said ‘witches’.

    If Glanville is a “little englander” does that make you a little Qatari?

    And on a further and unrelated note; ROBERT MUGABE!!!! Can’t wait to see Blatter giving subsidies to Kim jong-il for some astro pitches in the DPRK.

  • David

    What a surprise…Glanville on the witch-hunt against the Qataris again.

    In the magazine it is a ‘dismal little state’ and now it has moved on to a ‘wretched little anonymity.’

    I’m no fan of Bin Hammam but what is Glanville talking about? He hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet! The decision isn’t made until the 23rd.

    Brian needs to think for a moment and remember that the most commercially profitable World Cups would have been England and USA. England were using that as their unique selling point constantly. The summer steam heat is another dull point that the Qataris dealt with and spoke about ad nauseum.

    They already have a stadium there with air conditioning – in fact followers of the world game would know that Qatar played India there at the end of June in 2012 qualifying. For 2022 the technology will be advanced and will use solar power instead of generators. They’re sharing that with other nations as well as the stadiums.

    But the details don’t matter to the ‘voice of football’ who has undergone a sad transformation into the worst form of Little Englander around.

    I expect better from a magazine entitled World Soccer than this insular and ill-informed claptrap.