Tag Archives: FIFA

All the President’s men

The moment Bin Hamman challenged Sep Blatter (schoolboy error), he was a dead man walking.  In an email exchange with Jack Warner, the General Secretary of FIFA, Mr Valcke wondered witheringly of Bin Hammam whether the Qatari felt, by standing against Blatter, he could “buy FIFA as they (Qatar) bought the WC”.  Despite this pretty condemning evidence Qatar isn’t going to be investigated, but this one just keeps running and running.

My favourite bit of this sorry saga is Sep Blatter’s proposal to appoint a council of the wise featuring that well-known football aficionado; take a bow Placido Domingo.

Placido Domingo

Trouble at home, attack away

With Syria on the brink and their big mates Iran going through a bit of turmoil don’t be surprised if they play their joker and drag Israel into the equation. There is nothing like a bit of war mongering with public enemy number one to divert attention and drum up a bit of nationalism.

More people who are cleverer than me

A couple of years ago we had Radiohead releasing an album as a ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ download.  Now the Kaiser Chiefs (of Ruby, Ruby, Ruby and I predict a riot fame) have come up with an even more cunning scheme.  They have created an amazing looking website where you can preview their songs before making up your personal album of 10 songs from the 20 available.  The album costs £7.50 and you get the option of designing an album cover and setting up a page where your friends can download your album.  For every album downloaded you receive £1, so if 8 people download your version you make 50p!


This has then been taken to the next level by people like The Guardian who have created their version of the album with the £1 going to their chosen charity – Alzheimer’s.

Top DJs have also got in on the act; really great interactive stuff and brilliantly taking technology to the next level.

The dough boys

My wife is a Krispy Krème hater and so am I right up until that moment a box arrives in our office at which point my powers of resistance disappear in a cloud of dust.  What I’ve often wondered is how a food product that screams calories is doing so well.  Apparently there are two massive trends in food right now – one is health, the other is indulgence, and both are similar in size.  Madonna is big fan and judging by his recent appearance at a press conference in Dubai so is Maradona!

Diego MaradonaKrispy Kreme have a simple but smart marketing strategy; one of their clever ruses is to allow people to buy boxes of doughnuts at cost price, and then sell them for a profit for a good cause, and many of these are schools or children’s groups such as Scouts and Guides. It’s a genius idea – raise money for charity, while getting kids to sell to other kids, and mint a whole new generation of parent-pestering doughnut-eaters.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts

The naked truth

Has anyone noticed the number of naked companies that have cropped up recently and the proliferation of naked bets?  My history of making brave bets goes back a long way and I remember doing an early-hours naked dash around a pool in Portugal and bumping into a big party of people who happened to be leaving a nearby restaurant at exactly the same time.  The latest person to fall foul of an injudicious bet is a French World Cup winner.  Former France international and Evian shareholder Bixente Lizarazu will celebrate the club’s promotion with a nude run through the town’s streets.  Go you good thing go!

More of the silly stuff

I love the ability of the British to invent games.  We quickly discovered that other countries catch up and overtake us so we keep coming up with ever more wacky games.  Chasing manically after a giant cheese down a near vertical hill near Cheltenham is one of my favourites and another is the World custard pie-throwing championship held recently in the village of Coxheath in Kent.

Custard pie contest

Top 5 silliest World Championships

  • Extreme Ironing World Championship
  • World Sauna Championship
  • World Black Pudding Throwing Championship
  • World Worm Charming Championship
  • World Gurning Championship

World Gurning Chamionship

What makes you pull funny faces?

Leave a comment

Filed under Observations

Psssst, don’t tell the Yanks anything and did Russian agents kill Paul the Octopus?

The most over used word in business is transparency.  The moment someone glibly throws it into to a conversation I can’t help but think they are hiding something.  The US government in particular has rightly been very forthright in promoting transparency in business and pursues a very aggressive anti-corruption policy. With this in mind it seems a bit odd to me when Hilary of Clinton fame complains bitterly about WikiLeaks.  There has been lots and lots of juicy stuff in The Guardian (one of five publications worldwide WikiLeaks sent the transcripts to).  If you fancy doing  a bit of snooping click on the link below and all will be revealed.


Given the US’s determination to throw the declaration of independence at the Asperger-suffering British man, Gary McKinnon, who hacked into the Pentagon to look for UFO sightings, I’m surprised they have been furiously attacking WikiLeaks’s server and trying to drive it offline.  One of my favourite leaks was the Burmese military junta thinking of putting in a bid to buy Man U prior to launching their world cup hosting bid (surprisingly the world cup has never been to Burma).


Did Putin have it in for Paul?

As regular readers will appreciate I can’t help but drift towards the sporting angle whenever I read a grown-up story.  It might be a wee bit tenuous but the leaks relating to Russia were particularly interesting.  To the surprise of nobody it transpires that Russia is a Mafioso state controlled by gangsters who are in collusion with key government figures, in other words Russia is rotten to the core.  Given this I loved what Putin had to say about Russia winning the right to host the World Cup in 2018.

Arriving in Zurich on Thursday night to meet with Sepp Blatter, Putin accused the British media of running an “unacceptable” campaign.

“These countries blame people of corruption, they blame people without any grounds or evidence, it can be seen as putting pressure on FIFA members, and then they put it in their mass media all over the world.”

One key thing every commentator I’ve read has missed is the previously flawless Paul the Octopus had England down to win the big vote.  This leads me to think that Russian agents were sent to take out Paul and thereby remove his influence.

World Cup voting

Blatter and Hitler, a marriage made in hell

Nobody I know thinks that FIFA is anything but a personal plaything for Sepp Blatter and his serial bung-taker chums.  Sepp Blatter congratulated Hitler in a speech praising the Austrian for trying something new.   The choice of Russia and the resounding success of Qatar, the two bids with the largest budgets and the lowest marks in FIFA’s technical assessment, also brought questions over the decision.  We need to get used to the fact that Blatter has a personal legacy ‘take it somewhere new’ agenda – the only country to win against his agenda was surprise, surprise, Germany.

One thing I found very odd was two people who voted for Holland in round one and then voted for someone else in round two.  Six years to decide but just 10 mins to tactically change their mind once England had been eliminated.  Name and shame!

I can however understand Russia winning (graphically showing the imbalance between east and western Europe when it comes to staging World Cups (0 – 10) scrapping visas for fans and free public transport during the tournament were the icing) however I’m staggered that Qatar won until I noticed the favourite to succeed Blatter is a Qatari, take a big bow Mohammed Bin Hammam, the FIFA executive member and president of the Asia Football Confederation.

My good friend Micky Brigg mentioned that it will only take one hour to travel between the two furthest apart stadiums . . . at a slow amble!  Here is an artist’s impression of one of their showcase stadiums which they planning to pack up afterwards and ship to Africa.

Doha port

A case of mistaken identity

I could go on forever about the World Cup but I’ve got to move on.  Here is a ‘must-watch’ video, it made me cry with laughter.  Some dude turned up at the BBC for an interview, got mistaken for technology expert and ended up being interviewed live on national TV.  His face when he’s introduced is a picture.

Win 1,000,000 Air Miles and party

And here is a competition that you really can win (assuming I don’t win it). 1,000,000 Air Miles which will get you to the next half a dozen World Cups (unlike Skywards points Air Miles never expire).


Watch out, watch out there is a sharkie about

As news broke about sharks eating people in Sharm El Shiekh apparently 28 million people in the UK have been injured by biscuits.  Here is a breakdown of the injuries caused by our crumbly friends.

Injuries by biscuits

Top 5

Back to the serious stuff, here are my predictions for hosting the next five World Cups after Qatar:

  • Columbia
  • China
  • Austria/Switzerland
  • Iran
  • India

Sound about right?  Let me know in the comments.

1 Comment

Filed under Observations