Insights from the UK and beyond
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
The chill winds of corruption allegations swirling once again around FIFA's Zurich HQ have got world soccer's bosses busy battening down the hatches in the forlorn hope that, if ignored, they will all just blow away.
But if they were to peep out of the windows of their ivory tower overlooking the Swiss financial centre they might see that, in the eyes of much of the world, it is their credibility that is blown and that the process of selecting the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals has been seriously tainted.
Allegations aired in a British television documentary by the BBC that three long-standing members of FIFA's executive committee had received bribes from the body's marketing partners ISL and that a FIFA vice-president had ordered World Cup tickets for himself to sell on to touts were bad enough.
Those claims followed hot on the heels of an entrapment operation on FIFA bosses by London's Sunday Times. The newspaper sting resulted in two executive committee members being fined and excluded from office for indicating their willingness to "sell" their votes to the best bidder in Thursday's ballot.
The government has signed off a multi-million pound debt and land deal with the Mayor of London, which could have endangered parts of the 2012 Olympic legacy andÂ threatened to turn it into an unseemly Conservative spat.
Margaret Ford, chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) responsible for managing the Olympic Park post-Games, had used every possible opportunity to flag up the debt issue ever since the Conservative-led coalition government said it was to review the previous Labour government’s deal.