Greg Dyke has claimed that “You begin to be convinced almost no World Cups have been allocated without a pile of bungs,” in response to a damning report compiled by investigator, Dick Pound, into doping, cover-ups and extortion.
There has been no shortage of controversy across all sports in the last decade, with accusations of drug-cheating, bribery, match-fixing, and even downing tools completely and refusing to try. It doesn’t look good.
The German football federation president Wolfgang Niersbich suddenly quit amid claims his association made payments to officials within beleaguered FIFA during the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup. The German’s beat South Africa to host the tournament by just a single vote, after the New Zealand judge, called Charles Dempsey mysteriously abstained.
Niebich has denied guilt and does not see his immediate resignation as being an admission of any kind, rather he has gone to “protect the DFB”.
But in all fairness to German football, it’s unlikely there was anyone left who wasn’t already 100% convinced that rigging and bribery were commonplace in a world cup bidding process – the Qatar 2022 award took care of that.
It is now the Dick Pound report that is taking corruption in sport to a whole new level. The Russians are those in the firing line, with allegations that many of their top athletes were on drugs during the London 2012 Olympics.
Meanwhile, Sepp Blatter continues to cast his dark shadow over world football as he intimated that the Russian World Cup bid for 2018, which they won, was already predetermined. This meant that the millions of dollars spent by countries such as England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal were unnecessary when they had no chance of winning.
Add to all of this the accusation in English football that there are players within the Chelsea camp deliberately not playing properly for their manager, and it’s very close to being one of sport’s darkest periods. The quality of entertainment is hardly what you’d call riveting at this time, and when you think about the levels of money involved, not just for the payers but for the officials and those throughout the industry, it seems inconceivable that the blessed lifestyle and money they all receive is not enough; and they must cheat, lie, bribe, and trample on those around them on order to get what they want. Although a cursory glance through human history suggests this has never not happened, and that it will never not happen.
The creation of the Olympics was supposed to be an opportunity for a moment of fair play, human spirit and honesty in an otherwise corrupt and cold world, it was a nice dream.