29 NOVEMBER 2010


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Article from BTNews 29 NOVEMBER 2010

COMMENT: FIFA World Cup 2018

On the face of it the selection of the host nation for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 is of little consequence to a publication such as AERBT. 

In fact this is not true, as our readers are in the travel industry or are travellers.  Either way the event will have an effect on them.  With its two major elements the Olympic Games is spread out over six weeks.  The World Cup takes up about the same number of days. 

Unashamedly we back the England bit.  Worldwide more people watch the Premier League than any other (how many in Thailand tune into Russian matches every week?).  We already have the stadiums and the hospitality set-up that are an essential requirement (Spain can offer a huge amount of vacant property as lodgings but that is another story).  Since it is a solo bid the Football Association (of England) does not have to deal with a partner (on virtually every minor detail).

We note below the full text of a letter by the AERBT’s Editor in Chief published in The Times which whilst not directly involving the World Cup is clear in its intention.

What concerns AERBT is that the selection voting has deteriorated into a political farce, open to corruption, and not on the merits of the bid.  With just 22 votes (out of 208 country members of FIFA) the system cannot be justified.  Rather like the lack of goal line technology it is completely discredited in this modern world.  The head in the sand attitude by the Zurich hierarchy is to be despised.  All members should have an equal opportunity of having their say in a secret ballot.  If a worldwide vote of football supporters were to be taken on whom should be the host nation one wonders which of the contenders would be win!  That is how the winner should be chosen if all the presentations are equal.

Hopefully Prince William and the team will be successful later this week (2 December).  Logic makes sense for the home of football to host the world tournament once every 50 years.  Flying all over Russia will not be popular with teams and spectators and, if what we are being told is true, Portugal (and maybe Spain) might well need a financial bailout very shortly.  They hosted the World Cup only in 1982.  Who is paying for their bid and will they be able to sustain it?  As for Belgium and Holland what language will they use?  English!



Letter to The Times and published (in reduced form) Saturday 20 November

Ferguson for England

There can only be one choice as Manager of the Great Britain soccer team for the 2012 Olympics.  Sir Alex Ferguson.  The precedent has been set.  For the 1948 games, also held in London, in charge was the then Mr Matt Busby.  He selected amateurs from the England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, who reached the Semi Finals.  If Scotland was concerned whether it should supply players it would still be extremely visible at the very highest level.  Hampden Park is a venue.

Sir Alex's appointment will be universally accepted and might just help the FA in its 2018 World Cup bid.  He can also speak to the BBC without compromising on his current Manchester United policy and after the games would be in a position to decide whether retirement was for him.  A win and a raising to Lord Alex of Old Trafford would not be out of place.  The Upper House might just enjoy some of his wisdom. 

Malcolm Ginsberg
Member:  International Society of Olympic Historians (recognised by the IOC)

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