Here in Ireland, being a minnow we experienced at first hand the levels that FIFA are willing to go to keep the sponsors happy. Nearing the end of qualifying for the last World Cup they changed the rules and stated that teams reaching the play off would be seeded, thus avoiding the nightmare scenario of France or Portugal being drawn against each other.
This destroyed the notion of an open draw, with the weaker teams playing their home game first. And to rub salt into the wounds, the world witnessed Thierry Henri play some basketball in Paris, yet the match officals missed the handball (s). And we all know how "fantastic" France were in South Africa.
The Irish travel in huge numbers to support their team, just think back to the Giants Stadium in 1994. We were sold out, we have no say in the corridors of power.
In our country FIFA is viewed as nothing more than a corrupt organisation that is driving people away from the game. We need to the example of Rugby Union which set up a professional and fair organisation back in the 90's. The Rugby World Cup is now the fourth biggest global event and the Henieken European Cup is a fast becoming a serious rival to UEFA.
A World Cup in Qatar, why not play it on the Moon?
The US,England, Australia,Gemany, Italy and Spain should form their own organisation. To use a movie quote "build it and they will come"
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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