Saturday, 4 December 2010

At least the World Cup fiasco should rule out Game 39

The Guardian's Owen Gibson has written a great piece today looking at the five FIFA men who promised their votes to the English bid and then reneged.

He colleague Paul Hayward has also looked at what could happen next with the FA and FIFA. I'd like to suggest one other outcome. Given the anger at some of the FIFA men from the far east, I would suggest that Game 39 - the plan by some in the Premier League to hold an additional game each season in some money-spinning venue overseas - is likely to be dead and buried.

Game 39 might be profitable for the club's concerned, but it is even more so for developing football nations. Just as the FA is unlikely to play any more loss making ambassadorial friendlies against nations who also happen to have FIFA delegates, so they will not want their biggest asset - the Premier League - involved in games in those countries either.

Of course, it's not quite that simple. The Premier League is not owned by the FA, but is a separate body and many of the potential Game 39 venues are in countries where there is no FIFA delegate. But I would think that the mood against doing anything that might please the game's governing body is strong enough that even the most reckless Premier League Chairman would not suggest it for the moment.

UPDATE - Good grief, Franz Beckenbauer is now suggesting that the Qatar world cup should be held in January or February and claims that creating a two month hole in the middle of the European leagues would not be a big problem.

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