The documents that FIFA doesn’t want
fans to read
By Andrew Jennings
Saturday December 18, 2010
One of the most shocking episodes during the England bid to host the World Cup occurred more than a year ago.
In secret the Labour Government, with the agreement of the opposition Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, agreed to grant FIFA an astonishing list of concessions in return for the right to bid to stage the tournament.
Attempts to obtain these Government Guarantees were rejected by the Treasury and by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. FIFA had instructed they must be kept secret – and the British Government bowed to Herr Blatter’s demands. Requests by British citizens under Freedom of Information were refused.
BLATTER WON’T NEGOTIATE
Every nation bidding to host 2018 or 2022 was given the same Government Guarantees by FIFA and ordered to sign them. Herr Blatter also made clear that any failure to submit to his detailed demands could lead to bids being disqualified.
Below is a selection of confidential documents - plus some of the booster material generated by the English FA. Then, some academic studies of how the public are sold events like the World Cup by sports officials who stand to earn very large fees if the bid wins.
Football fans who unquestioningly backed World Cup bids might find the attacks on our laws and taxes by Herr Blatter, aided by English officials, enlightening. These documents might also interest students of mega-events.
The English FA and the British Government obeyed Herr Blatter’s orders and kept the Government Guarantees secret. They may have asked permission to make changes. But we don’t know - that is also a state secret.
When the Dutch Government and the Dutch football association tried to keep FIFA’s secrets there was an outcry led by politicians of Left and Right. So what was denied to citizens in Britain was fully available in Holland and debated in their Parliament.
Let’s look at them. They all begin with pages of definitions before we get to the real substance. In each case, we have highlighted a few controversial points. There’s plenty more to discover . . .
And then many more documents – many of which are still being kept secret – dealing with the details of what host cities have to deliver to FIFA.
continued . . .