Well of course. Forget the massive FIFA PR machine, with its legions of flacks, gofers and baristas.
If there's news to disseminate, Sepp Blatter will simply grab the old iPhone and Tweet away.
So here's the latest from Zurich:
"The ExCo decided to launch a consultation process among main stakeholders for Qatar 2022 dates. No decision will be taken before 2014WC."
If you're keeping score at home, that's Platini 1-0 Blatter.
(Yes, I know; there's not a snowball's chance in Hell that Sepp actually Tweeted that himself. Work with me here.)
And as they say on cheezy TV infomercials: "But wait! There's more!"
"The ExCo gave me the mandate to report on the outcome of today´s meeting to the new Emir of Qatar."
So apparently the Emir doesn't have internet access?
"FIFA cannot interfere with the labour rights of any country, but we cannot ignore them"
Way to stand up; we're not going to ask you to stop working Sri Lankan welders to death, but we're going to make sure we count the bodies.
FIFA will have a media conference shortly, but the takeaway here is that FIFA intends to defer any kind of formal decision on the dates for 2022 for at least a year.
Gives us time to reflect on the words of Sepp Blatter in October of 2012:
"The basic conditions – not just for Qatar, but for all the candidates – were the same. It means that the Fifa World Cup is played in June and July. That's the basic condition. It is my duty, my responsibility and my right to defend Fifa's principles. One of these principles was: June, July."
Fast forward 11 months and here's the same guy:
"Playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar's summer was simply not a responsible thing to do."
So a year from now, who knows what his position will be.
For their part, Al Jazeera reports that Qatar "promises labor reform before 2022".
I don't know about you, but I certainly feel better.
I do have one question though:
If playing soccer in Qatar in the Summer, or even being a fan and tourist then, is dangerous to your health, doesn't it follow that being a common laborer at a Qatari construction site for ten or 12 hours a day is equally if not more dangerous?
We're indebted to longtime BigSoccer maven Smithsoccer for this link to a fascinating ESPN article which uncovers the fact that, apparently, the prime construction management firm firm involved in the 2022 projects is American, based in Colorade.
Now we don't know precisely what their role is here; maybe they're the guys in the construction trailers drinking bad coffee out of styrofoam cups and arguing with the subs about the price of the supplemental contracts, maybe not, but one thing is pretty clear:
The last thing their VP for Communication expected this week was to have media types calling him up and asking what the company position on slavery is.
All in a day's work I guess.