FIFA corruption and dodginess thread (1 Viewer)

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7 - No tomorrow

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Good sleuthing here from Kevin Draper at Screamer

What The Hell Is FIFA Doing With The 2026 World Cup Media Rights?

FIFA have handed over the 2026 TV rights to Fox in the US without an open bid. Just your standard off-the-peg corruption you might think.

But what it probably means is that it is a sop to Fox so they won't be mad (i.e. sue) when the Qatar World Cup gets switched to winter.


The other strange thing is that the rights were awarded at this time at all. The American television rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded in October 2011, almost a year after FIFA announced where they would be hosted. But the host of the 2026 World Cup has yet to be chosen, and isn't expected to be until 2017. Fox and Telemundo bid on, and were awarded, these rights without even knowing where the World Cup would be played.
But if we assume that FIFA awarded the rights via this convoluted process for some reason, and not because they are 100 percent incompetent, what is that explanation? The current theory being bandied about is that this presages an announcement that the 2022 Qatar World Cup will be moved to the winter. The average summer temperature in Doha is around 95 degrees, with highs regularly hitting 120. While the Qatar bid promised the construction of stadiums with fancy air conditioning technology, FIFA put together a task force to study possible alternative dates.

When Fox bid on the 2022 World Cup rights, they assumed they were bidding on a marquee summer event, that would be up against only baseball on the American sporting calendar. Instead, if the World Cup is moved to the winter, it will be up against the NFL and NCAA football—both of which Fox itself broadcasts. There are a number of obstacles to a winter World Cup, including European leagues that don't want to either take a two month break or have dozens of players miss a quarter of the season, but Fox's concerns (and potential lawsuit?) are one of the biggest.

So did FIFA silver platter the rights to broadcast the 2026 World Cup to Fox (and Telemundo) in exchange for their silence when the Qatar World Cup is eventually moved to the winter? It seems a bit tin foil hat, but then again, tin foil hat is probably the right attitude to have when discussing FIFA.
 
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