I would like to throw in a correction about that blog which essentially just slagged of News Corp for hating the England team and English football fans - the BBC, the Daily Mail and others are helping too.
Not an apology however: The Sun and the Mail are hateful rags, and, while I generally approve of the BBC, Panorama's editorial direction has been dubious for years - football seems to be an easy target and these programmes appeal to a dubious demographic.
However, I'm thinking that although the timing is quite deliberate their points are actually far too valid to ignore.
FIFA are corrupt. That's the sort of statement you can say anywhere and it won't bat an eyelid. Everyone knows it. There's already been court cases, they've already been caught on camera, FIFA are corrupt and there's almost no one who would argue otherwise amongst friends or behind closed doors, even amongst some FIFA employees I'd imagine.
I'm saying it on a public blog and I expect no repercussions. Because it's true. They know it's true. We know it's true.
I could go on, or you could have a look around at the evidence available. If you're very lazy (i.e. as lazy as me who can't be arsed to re-write various allegations and convictions) click this mofo http://tinyurl.com/36l2724
The point being that the repeated exposure of this corruption seems to do nothing to change the way FIFA operates. Sepp Blatter likes to see himself as a President on the same global stage as actual leaders of countries. In a sense he does have quite a lot of political power. FIFA makes a whole lot of money, and is involved in all kinds of development programmes where this money is spent, so FIFA have some clout. This was proven further when South Africa actually passed several laws for the benefit of FIFA's sponsors before the world cup (there's a lot written about this but it doesn't get much more official than this: http://www.sa2010.gov.za/legislation)
So essentially you have a powerful international body which is accountable to no one which at the very least has the power/clout the force governments to change their laws for their benefit.
Do you think this is a good thing? Because in terms of unaccountable international bodies, FIFA is probably the least of our worries. The World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and the like operate with the same lack of accountability to a population but with much more power. But I'm digressing heavily here, go read No Logo or something along those lines if you want some intelligent discussion on that front.
So back to the point. The media has the power to hold certain institutions to account, not any power given by anyone (indeed, an unaccountable, in some cases global, power). At the moment it seems that only the British media is on the attack, possibly because no other nation has football so intrinsic to it's popular culture, except perhaps Brazil. and Brazil have a World Cup coming in 4 years. I'm no expert on the Brazilian media, but I suspect they're in no rush to fuck things up.
England doesn't NEED a world cup. We'd just really like one, and as has been mentioned often we have the stadiums and infrastructure that we could hold one tomorrow. FIFA's top bods now stand to make a highly significant decision. If they reject the English bid people will say it's because of the corruption. But if they choose the English bid the allegations will not go away, not even from the English press. So they're fucked in that sense. But the fact is that no one will care. Sepp Blatter isn't going to resign over it. It's quite likely no one will lose their position. and I've no idea how you'd go about putting pressure on people who are accountable to no one.