There is a price to pay to have the media run investigations, seek the truth and speak freely and England is here to prove it after a failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup. While the loss was mostly blamed on a poor communications strategy, the ongoing investigations and published pieces on FIFA by local publications have played a strong part in the decision.
England lost in the very first round yesterday after getting only two of the 22 FIFA executive committee votes and watched Russia win instead. Eulogy chief executive Adrian Brady criticised the England 2018 bid’s PR strategy, saying it should have thought about a ‘longer-term campaign based on the power of the collective voices of the football-mad English public’.
‘A campaign which emphasised the rewards for the average member of the public and in which they were seen as true spokespeople – with a real personality marshalling and leading them throughout the process – may have resulted in better communication on the factual side and better leeway with delegates on the emotional side,’ said Brady.
But he also added that the BBC’s Panorama programme on FIFA corruption broadcast on Monday and the Sunday Times investigation into the ethics of FIFA members were ‘undoubtedly related’ to the defeat.
‘The British media are free to report impartially and no sporting loss should ever allow this position to be challenged. On the other hand, had there been true leadership of the FA, in the eyes of the international community, I’ve no doubt that FIFA members would have treated the revelations differently.’
Threepipe co-founder Eddie May added: ‘It’s an intensely political process and Panorama may have been the nail in the coffin. With hindsight we may not have had a chance as FIFA seem intent on taking it to developing nations and Sepp Blatter is pretty anti-England.’
While this is bad news for England, it is also quite a PR problem for FIFA as well. They have just proven the world they discourage any impartial analysis of how they do things, retaliating harshly after any sign of criticism or accusation.