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Corruption in Football

Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter announced three years ago that Qatar was to host the football World Cup. Along with the Olympics, the Football World Cup is arguably the world’s most important sporting event. The decision was thus closely followed, causing wide uproar (1).

Why the hell Qatar? That was what everybody was thinking. Short of awarding the tournament to Greenland and suggesting it be held in winter, it was hard to think of a less appropriate venue (2) for a World Cup. Football is physically demanding and played in open air stadiums. It is therefore doubtful whether matches can take place in temperatures over 50C, as in Qatar. It’s also very dubious for such a significant football event to be held in country where all 16 stadiums will have to be built from scratch.

Many people were wondering what was behind the decision. Now we know. At least one of the FIFA officials responsible for choosing the destination of the 2022 World Cup, appears to have been bribed by a Qatari company involved in Qatar’s bid (3).

The depressing thing about this piece of news is not the corruption as such. The depressing thing is that hardly anyone is surprised by the revelation. How can FIFA be trusted to ensure there is no bribery of match officials, no corruption by betting syndicates, no low-level fixing,
when it has in all probability tolerated bribery amongst its most senior executives?



  1. When was, according to the article, the decision made for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup?
  2. Why have people been unhappy with the decision?
  3. What is the name of the grammatical form used in ‘be held’ (2nd paragraph)? Can you think of other contexts where this form is used?
  4. What was apparently, according to the article, the reason for awarding the tournament to Qatar?
  5. According to the article, what is most depressing about that award reason?
  6. Were you surprised by the revelations? Do you think that football in the Czech Republic is also affected by the problems mentioned at the end of the article? Do you think these problems are specific to football or can they also affect other types of sport?
  7. Are you going to watch the upcoming football World Cup?


uproar (1) – a lot of noise or angry protest about something

venue (2) – a place where an organized meeting, concert, matches, etc. takes place from scratch (2nd paragraph) – if you start something from scratch, you begin it without using anything that existed or was prepared before

bid (3) – an attempt to achieve or obtain something or an offer to pay a particular price for something, especially at an auction


You can find additional explanation and more examples to help you understand and use English words and phrases at https://dictionary.reference.com, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/, https://www.merriam-webster.com/ or https://www.ldoceonline.com/