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FIFA rejects Australia’s plea for $43 million compensation for failed World Cup bid

Sep 17, 2013, 8:17 PM EDT

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media in Zurich Reuters

With FIFA’s imminent decision to change the 2022 World Cup to the winter to avoid Qatar’s scorching hot summer, Australia took exception.

Their failed bid for the event garnered just a single vote, but they fired an angry shot to the world football governing body asking for $43 million in compensation – the amount they spent on the bid.

A statement on the official website of the Football Federation of Australia said FIFA should consider “An in-principle decision that just and fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event”.

One of those nations was the United States, which made it to the final round of voting before losing the highly controversial selection to Qatar.

“My fear is that Fifa could make a bad situation worse by hastily changing one of the most significant and controversial decisions it’s ever taken,”  said FFA chairman Frank Lowy. “Australia, like the other bidding nations, was required by Fifa’s own rules to pitch for a World Cup in the June and July window. Changing the dates is tantamount to changing the rules after the contest is over. If that happens, compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event.”

A FIFA spokesperson hit back, saying, “As part of the bidding documents all bidders, including the FA Australia, accepted that the format and dates of the staging of the Fifa World Cup and Fifa Confederations Cup, though initially expected to be in June/July, remains subject to the final decision of the Fifa Organising Committee,” she said. “There is no ground for any speculations.”

Not only is the decision angering the FFA, but it has stirred many others to their boiling points, both publicly and privately.

The Premier League made their exceptions public by blasting FIFA for moving the event, saying “The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football” and proposing FIFA reopen the bid to select a different location.

In addition, the Guardian reports that Fox, which bought the broadcasting rights to the 2022 World Cup for about $1 billion, are furious with the decision as well.  The move could conflict with other rights Fox has purchased, among other complications.

  1. dfstell - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Ha….this is just going to keep getting worse. We should all just make some popcorn and enjoy the FIFA sponsored dumpster fire.

  2. griffinjohn - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Check your facts, I believe FOX paid that kind of money for the 2018 and 22 World Cups not just the one.

  3. wfjackson3 - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    “In addition, the Guardian reports that Fox, which bought the broadcasting rights to the 2022 World Cup for about $1 billion, are furious with the decision as well. The move could conflict with other rights Fox has purchased, among other complications.”

    I have been saying that for months. FIFA has jumped the shark. Maybe this will be the final straw that convinces some major players to withdraw from FIFA and start a new, less corrupt organization.

    • mikeevergreen - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Somebody finally gets it. Maybe UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, , CAF, the AFC Pacific rim and Oceania. Leave the West Asian Oilocracy to itself.

      Did Sepp Blatter cut a deal with Bin Hamman, he gives Qatar the Cup and sticks with it in exchange for Bin Hamman’s exit?

  4. hildezero - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Pft. Your crazy, if you think that’s gonna happen, dawg… :D

  5. sandorli - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Fox paid $425 million for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups COMBINED. Telemundo paid $600 million for ’18 and ’22, making the total U.S. outlay more than $1 billion.

  6. bellerophon30 - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Don’t Fox’s TV contracts have some sort of language saying when the WC’s will be? That’s what I’m wondering about, surely there are some contractual guarantees in there.

    And I just have a hard time envisioning the top 8 or so European leagues just halting play for two months, screwing up multiple transfer windows, all for a World Cup that was awarded in a blatantly rigged manner. I mean figure skating isn’t this corrupt.

    Plus, as an English football fan…….do the lower leagues stop too? Is this a two month window for The Championship to be on television a lot more? Lots of ramifications.

  7. danielofthedale - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Fox has NFL rights currently through the 2022 season. I would also think they could have some college football contracts that go that far out too. By having to move games off Fox National on Sundays and having fewer slots on Sundays for Fox National and/Fox Sports 1/2 I think Fox would have not made the same bid with FIFA.

  8. mlsconvert88888 - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I’m really hoping that Fox is properly lawyer-ed up, and that someone writing the contracts was smart enough to have language that prevented FIFA from moving the world cup games into a time slot where Fox already has their sports programming filled (e.g. by the NFL, NCAA, etc.)

    FA’s asking for their bid money back are making a point, but it seems it might be largely symbolic, as FIFA is practiced at keeping them in line. But just maybe, by messing with the TV suits, FIFA may have picked a losing battle.

    • mikeevergreen - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Will wonders never cease? For once I am on the same side as Rupert Murdoch.

  9. talgrath - Sep 18, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Increasingly it looks like the Qatar World Cup is a clusterf*** of epic proportions, when will FIFA realize this just isn’t going to work? FIFA will take a smaller monetary hit from redoing the bidding process or changing the location than they will from all those TV contract lawsuits.

  10. braxtonrob - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    FIFA is always going to be an acronym, therefore capitalized … at all times, never “Fifa”.

    You’re writing is atrocious!

    • braxtonrob - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      *Your (I corrected MY mistake.)

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