FIFA has just announced that the Mexico World Cup bid for 2018/2022 HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN
This is indeed sad news for CONCACAF Supremo Jack Warner, for whom a Mexico tournament would allow him to use his influence in the region, combined with his longstanding contacts in Mexican media along with his well known penchant to steal anything that's not nailed down to make one final big dump into his IRA.
Photo Credit: Chuck Blazer
For those of you with strong stomachs and/or a penchant for listening to complete bull, FIFA'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PRESSER will be available live from Rio via the internet later today.
Someone will undoubtedly correct me but I believe 21.00 Central European Time is 3:00 PM Eastern in the US.
One of the key topics they'll be discussing this week as they enjoy all the exotic comforts and entertainment that an absolutely unlimited expense account can buy you in Rio de Janeiro (the mind fairly reels) is the format for the next Olympic football tournament.
Blatter is known to favor reducing it to a U21 competition from the current U23 and also eliminating the three "overage" players rule.
The IOC isn't at all happy about this - not surprisingly, for obvious reasons - and Uncle Seppy is apparently prepared to offer them their choice: either let him lower the age to U21 or eliminate the 3+ group.
While he's down there in Brazil Blatter isn't neglecting any opportunity to suck up to the locals. In this case he's MAKING CUDDLY-COO NOISES about Brazil's bid for the 2016 Olympics.
Of course, next week when he's picking up some garish award/trophy/sash/medal from Outer Mongolia or Swaziland or Guinea-Bissau he'll say exactly the same thing about them.
One thing you can be sure he won't be commenting on is THIS INTERESTING CHALLENGE from Dr Paul Hawkins, who runs Hawken, the company which developed the so-called "goal line technology" that Blatter has claimed isn't reliable enough for FIFA to employ.
In response, Dr. Hawkins says
"...as you are aware, the reasons you have given as to why Hawk-Eye could not be approved do not accord with the facts. From tests conducted at Reading, the Hawk-Eye system was shown to be a very viable option and provided the correct result in 100% of the tests conducted."
"If you believe that football is better off without goal-line technology, then please use this reason when justifying your decision rather than making a scapegoat out of the technology providers and incorrectly damaging their reputation.
"If you believe football would be better off with goal-line technology, then please embark on a fully transparent, scientific process so that technology providers are able to deliver a system which meets your requirements."
Somehow I don't think it would be wise for the good Doctor to hold his breath waiting for an answer.