World Cup 2018 – 11 days to decision
Another day and more pressure on the England Bid. With FIFA President Sepp Blatter having had his say on the impact of the Sunday Times investigation, UEFA President and FIFA Vice President Michel Platini has also offered his views.
Like his President, Platini maintains that the England 2018 World Cup Bid will not be affected by the Sunday Times incident or indeed the impending BBC Panorama programme into FIFA. However, Platini insisted that the risk came from the English media’s criticism of FIFA over a number of years.
In an interview with The Independent, Platini said, “…I don’t think it’s a problem. These investigations are just people doing their job…If they (the England bid) do not have a good feeling about FIFA, that’s nothing to do with these investigations, but that comes from what the English press have been writing about FIFA for very many years. That could be a problem for the bid…”
The trouble for the England Bid team is, when they should be in a position with the decision so close to be able to bring the campaign to a climax in a positive manner, they are instead having to deal with the Sunday Times fallout and prepare for trying to close the wound the Panorama programme will undoubtedly cause, just three days before the decision.
Whilst FIFA appear to be making the right noises, they always seem to come with a little sting in the tail. The England Bid team must feel like a suspect in a trial, watching helplessly as the prosecuting barrister says something inappropriate which the judge has to ask the jury to strike from their memories. Once a cat is out of the bag, it’s hard to get it back in.