England and the United States were sworn enemies in group play this past World Cup. Now, the U.S. would be wise to side with England over FIFA’s selection process.
According to The Associated Press, the two developed nations were shunned by FIFA in the 2018 and 2022 bidding, respectively, even though both countries were widely regarded as great potential host countries.
"It's quite hard to stomach that this seems to count for absolutely nothing," Andy Anson, the England 2018 chief executive, told reporters at a briefing, the AP reports. "I would say right now, don't bother (bidding) until you know that the process is going to change to allow bids like ours to win."
Anson also is calling for change in the decision-making process. Right now, 24 executive committee members vote in a secret ballot. This system can lead to corruption, like it did this year.
FIFA awarded Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament, the first time the World Cup will be held in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The Sunday Times newspaper and the BBC's Panorama program reported that two FIFA voters allegedly accepted bribes and were preparing to rig the voting. Both were not allowed to vote, and minutes before the vote began, Anson reportedly said that FIFA president Sepp Blatter reminded his executive colleagues of the "evil of the media."
"They are saying that our media killed us," Anson said.
Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and superstar David Beckham made last-minute lobbying efforts in Zurich, where the vote was held, and appeared to overcome potential damage done by the British media. But Anson still felt let down and misled.
Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s culture secretary and part of England’s delegation in Zurich, called FIFA’s rejection of England “a slap in the face” and was disappointed in the decision as well.