FIFA Corruption Scandal: A World Cup Boycott Will Cost England Millions And Achieve Nothing

Paul Sorene

29th, May 2015


Should European footballing nations boycott the World Cup should Sepp Blatter remain head of FIFA? Would Russia, hosts of the 2018 World Cup, agree to any boycott of the tournament it ‘won’ the right to host?

Russia’s President Vladimir V. Putin called the arrests of FIFA officials in Zurich on Wednesday “another blatant attempt by the United States to extend its jurisdiction to other states.”

Russia’s state-run Rossiya 24 reported:

“The United States, which plays soccer, not football, has drawn its best resources to investigate a foreign scandal, to meddle into affairs of others and impose its rules and laws.”

Vitaly L. Mutko, the Russian sports minister who says Russia engaged in no bribery, adds:

“So once again, they’re going to go through the case; once again they’re going to question people. You know, you can talk about corruption for as long as humanity will continue to exist.”

And Gazprom, the Russian state’s huge energy company, says it will continue its sponsorship deal with FIFA whatever happens.

Will Russia boycott the 2018 World Cup? No, it bloody well won’t.

Michel Platini, the UEFA president, wants Mr Blatter frog-marched out of FIFA. “We cannot work with [Mr Blatter] any longer,” he said.

Would UEFA boycott the World Cup? “We will consider all options,” replied Platini. That’s the same Platini who voted for Qatar as 2022 World Cup hosts ahead of the USA.

David Gill, the English face on the FIFA executive committee, will boycott FIFA. He said: “If Blatter is elected, I will leave my seat empty.”

David Cameron went on the record: “I welcome the probe into allegations of FIFA corruption and bribery, and support the FA’s call for new leadership and reform.”

Former FA chairman David Bernstein wants a boycott. “England on its own cannot influence this,” he said. “If we tried something like that, we’d be laughed at. If I was at the FA now, I would do everything I could to encourage other nations within UEFA – and there are some who would definitely be on side, others may be not – to take this line. At some stage, you have to walk the walk, stop talking and do something.”

(The English FA didn’t compete in the FIFA World Cup until 1950. The FA has called the Home Internationals against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a more apposite ‘world championship’. That was then. Football’s World Cup now is presented as something much more important.)

But a boycott is costly. The BBC’s Dan Roan writes:

“…with £267million of debt still to pay off for the £757million Wembley Stadium, the FA simply could not afford to lose the revenue that comes with hosting World Cup qualifiers, not to mention the sponsorship that results from contesting one of the world’s most fabled sports events.

“A place on the International Football Association Board – the game’s law-making body – would be sacrificed, for instance, while England representative teams at every age group would be unable to compete in their respective world championships.”

Money matters.

As it happens, Dubai-based airline Emirates is no longer paying FIFA for sponsorship with South Korea’s Samsung poised to leave the FIFA family also.

If the money goes, so too will Blatter.

Posted in Newsnow, World Cup

Share this article: Email


  1. Anonymous says:

    As usual the Politically Correct sycophants who totally dont enjoy getting lavish gifts or being on the gravy train (Dyke et al) will make noises about boycotting FIFA, the Euros, the WC because of “corruptions” and “prejudiced Russia” or “inhumane Qatar” but we all know as soon as someone gets a calculator out for 5 minutes and see’s how much money there is to be made by turning up (and probably crashing out at the first hurdle) “Team FA” or “Team England” or whatever its called will be at all the tournaments in a flash; ready to enjoy more first class flights, luxury hotels and £16,000 watches they “forget” to give back…

  2. Anonymous says:

    England will end up boycotting the World Cup by being the business-end of dog shit and failing to qualify

  3. Matthew says:

    So what you’re saying is it does more harm to distance oneself from a organization that’s propped up by bribery and corruption than it does to remain a part of the broken, filthy machine.

    Paul, between this article and your flimsy attack on The Guardian while standing in defense of Xavi, I have to say, you must be either on FIFA’s criminal payroll or just flat out stupid.

  4. Fan Belt Inspector says:

    I wouldn’t waste my time watching the World Crap, unless you paid me. To date, nobody has, and I’ve missed the last two. I haz a sad.

Leave a Reply