ESPN’S David Hershey called it The World’s Most Easily Purchased Sporting Event, while Grant Wahl over at SI asked, “Is it possible to win the World Cup hosting rights playing by the rules? I doubt it.”
Andy Anson, head of England’s 2018 bid, said, “…don’t bother bidding unless you know the process is going to change.”
“When you have the best technical bid, fantastic inspection visits, the best economic report, and, from what people told us, the best presentation, it’s quite hard to stomach that all that seemed to count for absolutely nothing.”
U.S. bid committee members could be echoing those words, with the added dimension that bringing the Cup to the U.S. satisfies FIFA’s purported desire to bring the game to new frontiers—there is still much soccer territory to conquer in the U.S., and doing so would expand the game’s reach well beyond what will happen by bringing it to the brick oven of Qatar in 2022.
As BP reader Prison Mike said, the phrase “summertime in Qatar” alone is enough to provoke laughter.
According to Paul Kennedy at Soccer America:
“It is basically illegal to work outside in midday during the Qatari summer. Some folks disconnect their outside cold water tanks during the summer because the water is too hot.”
Lastly, we note the Shakespearean irony of Vladimir Putin’s high-horse refusal to attend the ceremonies, citing “unscrupulous competition” among the bidders.
Ha! Paging Queen Gertrude.
Now that the envelopes have been opened, it’s clear the gentlemen’s protest is far too much to stomach.