As ironies go, this one’s pretty good given the full spectrum of their acronym, and all, even if it’s no longer surprising.
Everyone knows that the BBC’s decision to broadcast their Panorama expose just two days before the vote hurt their chances. It was likely directly responsible for their exit in the first round of voting, even, though it’s unlikely they were getting the tournament anyway (FIFA’s lost its taste for vanilla, it seems).
But one of the voters has explained just how badly it burned. And that it was racist, which, let’s be honest, isn’t going to earn many friends in FIFA – or anywhere, you’d hope.
Japanese FA president and voting member of the FIFA executive committee:
“What I can say is that the reports definitely had an impact on the England bid. There’s no mistake about that,” Kyodo news agency quoted Ogura as saying.
Ogura said FIFA executives from Africa were “furious” at the reports. “The idea of suing the paper at the executive committee meeting was even brought up.
“The people being accused were from Africa and Oceania, not Europe or Asia, and some felt racism was behind it.”
“Temarii, Adamu, they weren’t out for personal gain but for the benefit of their associations. I heard Temarii is going to appeal, which hopefully will shed the light on everything.
“I have a hard time understanding why a network as prestigious as the BBC would go with a story like that at that particular time,” Ogura said. “I can’t figure out why they would dig up a case that’s already been resolved in court.”
No surprises, but maybe the English FA should stump up another £15m campaign designed to show the BBC how you don’t bite the hand that feeds while they’re walking to the table with the platter – you do it after the meal is over.