As the World Cup finally dawns in the east, many of the Football Association chiefs packing their wheelie suitcases for Russia will have been reflecting wistfully that this was the tournament they bid for Fifa to locate in England, and lost. When the vote was taken in December 2010, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, famously arrived nonchalantly in Zurich to collect his prize and now the world will broadcast the greatest of sporting events from the country he rules absolutely.
England in their bid spent £21m and an enthusiastic but ultimately hapless two years seeking votes from Womens Teddy Bridgewater Jersey a 24-man Fifa executive committee since found to have contained 17 members found guilty or accused of corruption or ethics rule breaches. Criminal investigations have started in Switzerland, France and the US into the process by which a majority of those members voted for Qatar to host the 2022 http://www.officialraptorstoreonline.co … zan_Jersey World Cup and for Russia to have the one starting on Thursday, after England’s entreaties received just two votes.
Yet little progress of those investigations has been reported. Both victorious countries’ bid teams and political rulers have denied wrongdoing in the vote-seeking campaigns, got on with building the promised stadiums and infrastructure and prepared to host the world’s football nations and broadcasters.
In an intriguing documentary, A World Cup of Spies, directed by the Danish film-makers Niels Borchert Holm and Jon Adelsten and recently broadcast on the ARTE TV channel, the chief executive of Russia’s organising committee, Alexey Sorokin, acknowledged the hope that the tournament will be good for Russia’s image.
After a sequence in which another Russian official laughs that people think of Russians having a gun in one hand and a vodka in the other, Sorokin acknowledges: “There are still some stereotypes people live by. The World Cup I hope will mean a lot for the country, a chance for us to show a new democratic country and people that have created a lot of progress.”
The World Cup has, of course, finally arrived with Russia’s image the very opposite of cleansed, particularly in England, following the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the multiple hostilities and cyber-attacks of which Putin’s Russia stands accused. Fifa http://www.officialauthenticspackers.co … ersey.html maintained Russia as the host throughout the revelations that its sports ministry had overseen a huge athlete doping programme, which led to the International Olympic Committee banning the country’s team from competing in the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The sports minister at the time of the doping, Vitaly Mutko, since promoted to deputy prime minister, stepped down from his football roles in Russia and is no longer visible as the politician most associated with Fifa’s tournament.
The ARTE documentary film-makers put to Sorokin the accusation long understood to be true by the England bid that Russia had officers from its secret service, the FSB, post-Communist successor to the KGB, spying on their activities. Sorokin laughed: “Honestly I don’t know what to say about it. I was never aware of any of their involvement; certainly I was not the reason for any involvement of any intelligence service.”
It is well-established, however, that the English FA did in fact employ intelligence operators itself, including the former MI6 officer in Russia, Christopher Steele, now known globally for his dossier on the US president Donald Trump’s activities in Russia. One well-placed source confirmed to the Guardian that Steele was taken on Womens Seattle Seahawks Jersey eight months into the bid, when the English FA, confident in the country’s credentials and stock of stadiums, learned that Russia was a rival taking the Dustin Colquitt Authentic Jersey opportunity very seriously.
Given that Russia eclipsed England in the vote, and the lack of proven evidence of wrongdoing, it has never been clear how valuable the intelligence was. A report about some of it was published in 2014 by the House of Commons select committee for culture, media and sport, in a letter from the Sunday Times, whose reporters had talked to an “ex MI6 source,” understood to be Steele. http://www.officialpacershop.com/authen … ersey.html The letter said that: “Putin was understood to have summoned a select group of oligarchs and tasked them with doing whatever was necessary to ensure the victory of the Russia 2018 bid, including striking personal deals with voters.” cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys from china cheap jerseys free shipping