Seems a little weird to be rabbiting about sport at a time when a malign confederacy of sanctimonious do-gooders, vengeful…
It seems churlish to be having a bitch just when two enthralling Test series are being played out in Australia and South Africa.
It’s time for the traditional, much-coveted Spectator Sports Awards, and this year your judges have been busier than Mitchell Johnson’s tattooist as we look back over a memorable 12 months.
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.
Quite how much tawdrier the plotting and deal-making for the 2018 football World Cup could become it is hard to imagine, and how appropriate that not just Sepp Blatter but officials at England’s campaign are so keen to denounce the devastating Sunday Times investigation into Fifa corruption.
Andy Anson and Simon Greenberg are two splendid, clubbable chaps. Their current gig is running England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, and forgive me for sounding disloyal but I hope these two delightful fellows find themselves disappointed when Fifa votes on the 2018 and 2022 bids in early December.
Roger Alton reviews the week in Sport