Blog: Dean BestNow Morrisons hits out at Fifa

Dean Best | 13 December 2010

Fifa, the governing body of world football, has faced a barrage of criticism here in the UK (well, in England) over its decision to award the hosting of the 2018 World Cup to Russia. Today, UK retailer Morrisons, in an eyebrow-raising move, has added to the furore.

While some within - and outside - football are now rightly urging England to move on from their disappointment at failing in its bid to host the tournament, the UK's fourth-largest food retailer, a sponsor of England's bid, has asked lawyers to "examine options".

Morrisons launched a concerted campaign to raise support for England's bid and gathered around 1.6m signatures from shoppers in favour of the 2018 World Cup being played here.

FIFA's decision to award the tournament to Russia has led to fierce criticism of the governing body and its decision making and today Morrisons claimed the process was "unfair".

"On behalf of our customers we are disappointed that the merits of the bid were not recognised by Fifa, which clearly was intent on locating the 2018 World Cup in an emerging country. As we think the decision making process was unfair, we have instructed lawyers in Switzerland to examine our options under Swiss law," said Morrisons director of corporate affairs and communications Richard Taylor. 

"We hope Fifa will do the right thing and offer GBP1m (US$1.6m) to be invested in grassroots football."

Morrisons' plea appears likely to fall on deaf ears. Last week, Fifa stood by its voting process and general secretary Jerome Valcke said the system was fair.


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