Frank Lowy talked earlier in the week about our World Cup bid and added to the debate created after Peter Hargitay’s interview was aired on The World Game on Tuesday night.
The Chief Strategist, who was paid $1 million over two years for his services and was a former consultant to Sepp Blatter, has suggested foul play in the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup.
Lowy suggested that Australia was targeted by those in favour of a Qatar bid as they were the biggest threat. He has also expressed that Australia conducted their affairs fairly and cleanly, suggesting that their intent to follow these principles could have cost them the bid.
“We were a clean bid, not shonky. Maybe it cost us …but the last word about the [voting] process has not been said.”
Hargitay suggested that up to six committee members had assured him that they would vote for Australia, yet they were dumped out of the first round with only one vote.
“We were conned, we were played. The most fundamental mistake we made is that we played it clean.”
“Football is the loser because a lot of dishonesty went on. Because of a result that is highly questionable. What do you think motivates them to vote for a country the population of which is the size of Zurich? To vote for a country that is the size of Fiji? To vote for a country where the infrastructure to play host to millions of fans still has to be created? You go figure…How can 14 men take that decision? It’s astounding.”
I’m not really sure where to go from that. Corruption in FIFA? We all new it existed, but surely not so far as Qatar winning the World Cup. While England are fuming at the decision to award the event to Russia, I think they will actually put on a great show and the Qatar decision is a lot more baffling. The money and oil have spoken. The end.
Lowy also went on to discuss the future of North Queensland, which is currently unable to re-sign players on new contracts as they are being fully funded by the FFA. Lowy has exclaimed that this will not continue into next season, and that the club must find financial backing for the club to continue to run. A local-based consortium is the only hope for the club as their troubles on and off the field continue.
The Fury are set to lose more players to rival A-League clubs, with Isaka Cernak has already agreed to join Melbourne Victory and Justin Pastfield set to join Central Coast Mariners.
Now Osama Malik is re-joining Adelaide United after being in their youth squad for the 2008-09 season, while Chris Payne has apparently agreed to go to the Newcastle Jets.
Having played 15 games this season and proving his versatility by playing across the back four and in midfield, Malik has decided to secure his future at his home club.
The Jets have snapped up striker Chris Payne in wake of North Queensland’s uncertain future.
“I would have loved to have stayed at Fury, but not knowing what is going on with the club, you can’t sit around and wait for too long. I’ve been holding off to see how the club’s going but I couldn’t wait around much longer. Everybody who gets offered a contract is going to take it.”
There are set to be more talks today in regards to the future of the A-League competition. Up for debate are the ongoing problems with expanding the A-League and the future a Sydney Rovers bid, as well as the possibility of a Tasmania franchise. There will also be discussion on a possible FFA Cup competition to further involve lower level football clubs and the reformatting of the A-League into starting later and involving less games.
A later start would most definitely be favourable as there has to be a significant gap between Rugby League finals footy and the opening game of the A-League. It will help create more excitement about the competition and allow Rugby League fans to get over the finals triumphs and disappointments to look towards the start of another Aussie comp.
The 30 games though is fair and should be kept at that, though the Wednesday night games are proving to become a strain on several clubs due to the massive amounts of travelling needed between cities in Australia. There also needs to be discussion about the ridiculous schedule of A-League games, where a team might play 5 away games in a row.
In terms of expansion it should definitely be put on the back-burner unless a Western Sydney franchise can be established. This is the only region where a club should be brought into the competition for the next five years at least. We need to concentrate on the current problems surrounding clubs, especially the Gold Coast and North Queensland. Only a Western Sydney team would bring about success in the competition at the moment, as there is already a fan base and a passion for the game within the area.
Similar with an FFA Cup, this needs to become implemented as soon as possible to involve all levels of the game and increase the excitement in football and establish links with certain fans and players who are still upset about the inception of the A-League and the loss of the NSL.
Hopefully there are some positive talks going on today, which will contribute to the growth of football in Australia in the wake of the failed World Cup bid…