Roger Alton Roger Alton

Spectator Sport: Goodbye World Cup, hello xenophobia

So here’s a thing: if Fifa is so bloody venal and corrupt, then why on earth did England ever have anything to do with it? If much of its activity is spent lumbering poor regions of the earth with a vast web of unaffordable stadiums and expensive infrastructure before disappearing with billions of untaxed income, then why has there been such a howl of outrage that England wasn’t allowed to join in? And if they’re all so ‘buyable’, to use Andy Anson’s word, why did we send a prince among men, not to mention Prince William and the Prime Minister, to grovel before it? England’s misconceived and (apart from the last three days, which were excellent) ill-executed bid for the 2018 World Cup has ended up in the bin where it should have been consigned long ago.

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