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764515.  Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:30 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
But my non-thrilledness with Russia and 2018 pales into nothingness as compared to my non-thrilledness with the idea of Qatar 2022.

Me too.

764540.  Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:59 pm Reply with quote

Now, now, FIFA clearly went for those countries with the best facilities and strongest traditions of football. It's not about money, you know.

764771.  Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:51 pm Reply with quote

It's odd, isn't it, how the UK media suddenly noticed that FIFA weren't the most democratic and transparent institution just after the UK didn't get the World Cup gig. Purely coincidental of course.

A week ago the same media were falling over themselves to point out how unpatriotic it was of Panorama to mention that FIFA were (erm) undemocratic and opaque.

If FIFA announce that some future World Cup will take place in the UK will we suddenly learn that FIFA is the second coming?

Personally, declaring an interest, I think it's more important that we have Panorama and a free press than the disruption of a few thousand paid hooligans transported around the country where they can variously intimidate and disrupt the local population.

It's my experience that the kind of people who follow football are the same kind of people who used to say "go back to Russia". It'll be nice to see these people "go to Russia" and thus be able to report first hand on the kind of experience I can receive first hand.

764861.  Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:43 am Reply with quote

As bob would tell us is in fact always the case, I tend towards agreement with most of what he says here.

In an ideal world, global politics would have no impact on which countries get to stage the World Cup - but we have to live in the real world, and that's not how it is. One could go on to say that in an ideal world, there would be no suggestion of corrupt practices in the process - but in fact, it's only really in the countries that speak Germanic languages that received opinion frowns on bribery and corruption.

One point on which I must disagree with bob, though:

bobwilson wrote:
It's my experience that the kind of people who follow football are the same kind of people who used to say "go back to Russia".

If what bob means here is that, in his experience, football fans tend towards the political right, well my experience is not the same as his. In fact if anything, I reckon they tend towards the political left. (I'm thinking here solely of the differences between, loosely speaking, a "conservative" on the one hand and a "socialist" on the other.)

What bob did not say, but others who are not really football fans have done, is that those who follow football are the same kind of people who used to say "go back to Africa". At one time there was some truth in that, and unfortunately there continues to be in some countries (sadly, Poland is one of those countries).

Not in Britain though - that kind of behaviour is by now very rare at football grounds in Britain, and when it does occasionally happen it is quite rightly condemned.

Next time bob happens to be in Hamburg, he should take himself to a match involving FC St Pauli. That club's fanbase is heavily biased towards women, gay men, punks, anarchists, and assorted other people who have not traditionally followed football, and its stadium stages "home" matches played by the Tibet national team. Oh, and the club reckons to have more supporters than any other club in Germany bar Bayern München - even though it's never been German champion.

765126.  Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:41 pm Reply with quote

Not that I want to argue with bobwilson - admittedly I went to live football games in the UK only twice (bit of a couch potato I'm afraid); but I have to say - both times it was a great experience.

Now, the main reason why I replied to the original post about the "banana" idiom was to point out a lie of a conniving Russian bureaucrat that wormed its way into the mind of a fellow QI-er. To me, the likes of Mr Sorokin are a very familiar type of an impertinent modern Russian politician. It saddens me to see Mr. Putin & Co swindle the international community. And the more they do it - the more assured they become of their impunity.

You might have heard of Mikhail Khodorkovsky - one of the most successful Russian "oligarchs" who had the guts to openly oppose Mr. Putin, and who is now in jail, with very slim chances of ever getting out. He made a very valid point in his recent article for the Washington Post:
Russia, no longer ensconced behind an iron curtain, has integrated into the community of nations and the world economy. It is alarming, however, that one of its exports remains corruption, fueled by a host of eager importers, most notably developed countries in the West. Unfortunately, throughout my country corruption has been transformed into a systemic factor that governs many political and economic decisions.

On the one hand, you have powerful Russian corruption export, with tons of money to burn, and on the other - FIFA, which, as shown yet again by BBC Panorama, seems an ideal kind of place to thoroughly enjoy being corrupted. A match made in heaven...

It is likely that the World Cup is not that significant compared to other Russian "projects"; yet getting it is another success story, another encouraging nod of approval and acceptance.

Apologies for a long off-topic post; I will shut up now.


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