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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Panoramic self-indulgence & Bid Failure

I don't think it was that BBC's 'Panorama' pointed a long accusatory finger at FIFA in their programme broadcast earlier this week - 2 days before the vote - that did most of the damage. 

It was, rather, how the investigation was carried out - in good old in-yer-face, 'go on then, sunshine, hit me', knockabout Roger-Cook style. This might make for 'fun' TV, but was surely the final nail in the goodwill coffin, and probably destroyed England's slim chances of getting a sufficient number of supporting votes. In the end, we garnered fewer votes than the combined Holland-Belgium bid.

With the Panorama journalist confronting FIFA committee members unannounced - in streets, in airports, getting in and out of their cars, emerging from their 6-star hotels - while shouting out accusations and incoherent questions, and generally coming across as unprofessional and aggressive (and slightly mad), Panorama gave the doubtless corrupt FIFA members the chance to justify and relish treating the journalist - and the BBC - with disdain and contempt.

For better or worse, the BBC is seen as representative of England and the UK, so revenge must have felt decidedly sweet when all but 2 of the 30 members did not vote in England's favour. I'm not saying the programme was THE decisive factor, but its broadcast date was self-indulgent and its method of approach hyper-provocative. So what was to be expected - an increase in supporting votes?

But no doubt the BBC will be broadcasting merrily from the Red Square in the summer of 2018 - it does make for a smashing backdrop, after all.

Footnote: The Guardian, dated 8.12.10, contained an article entitled 

Fifa vice-president Jack Warner blames British media for 2018 defeat

 which included the following: 

"It is understood the Fifa president Sepp Blatter raised the issue of the "evil" media coverage of Fifa just hours before the vote and England's rivals, including the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and influential Spanish ex-co member Angel MarĂ­a Villar Llona, played heavily on it."

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