Eureka at FIFA!

It is unusual to find ready-to-hand predictor variables which work. After all the revelations about corruption at FIFA, readers might have expected countries with too many scruples about governance and suchlike to fare poorly. The rankings of the four bidders in the recent Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International in Berlin were as follows (a high rank means less corrupt).

Netherlands/Belgium  7 and 22

United Kingdom             20

Spain/Portugal           30 and 32

Russia                            154 

Russia of course won, and the Ireland – Finland grudge game in Vladivostok should be a cracker!

The United Kingdom spent £50 million on its bid, presumably on hairstyles for Beckham, Prince William, Powerpoint presentations, & c. Small-denomination dollar bills are freely available at kiosks in Heathrow….




18 replies on “Eureka at FIFA!”

@Colm McCarthy

We could have loaned Katie Taylor for a month ….

In solidarity with the English …. not cricket, is it? The panorama programme literally blew ‘FIFA’ out of the water – yet, business as usual.

I’d prefer Stalingrad to Vladivostock ….

Given what has been reasonably common knowledge about Russia for years along with the Wikileaks stuff about Gates reckoning the country is as much mob/state as Ireland is bank/state, anyone who deals with Russia as competitor or partner really should know what it is getting into.

That German scheme to supply the EU with gas via pipelines from Russia is obviously foolproof.

@ Matthew:
“Nice performance from Siemens and GE yesterday afternoon – congratulations to the real winners!”

Adept analysis.
Thanks for the Follow-The-Money reminder.

Richard: Only 2 out of 24 FIFA exec cttee fired (so far).
Al: High rank (say 1 to 40) means least corrupt. Russia (152) must try harder.
Ireland incidentally ranks 14, so no point bidding.

That Sepp Blatter is a lovely man (and a great wit to boot). He was right to stand up to the evil media.

Today’s Irish Times reports wikileaks on Russia,

“US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks describe a deeply corrupt Russia where state security agencies engage in racketeering. Prime minister Vladimir Putin is seen as the central character in this unflattering portrait of Russia”.

Enough said, FIFA are a disgrace.

Oh for crying out loud. FIFA just did the UK taxpayer a massive favour. If there was an international sporting organisation that could cancel Trident II they’d be better off still.

Give me a break! Does a country that had a Prime Minister who owned an island and another who never had a bank account – and neither of whom were never charged with any wrong doing and are in fact venerated by large sections of the public and media – deserve a rank of 14 on this list? or for that matter does a country who PM intervenes to stop his own Serious Fraud Office from investigating bribery in “national interest” deserve a ranking of 20?

Perhaps the answer lies in the title of this list: Corruption Perceptions Index. And perception can often be at variance with the truth. I’ll leave you with this gem from the leaked cables on the question of corruption.

Ironic quote of the day, from Kazakhstan, via Wikileaks:

The Ambassador asked if the corruption and infighting are worse now than before in Kazakhstan. Idenov paused, thought, and then replied, “No, not really. It’s business as usual.

They’re confused by the corrupt excesses of capitalism. “If Goldman Sachs executives can make $50 million a year and then run America’s economy in Washington, what’s so different about what we do?’ they ask.”

Garo, surely the Index is weighted towards day to day transactions?

Ireland is undoubtedly corrupt at elite level but on a micro level it’s easy to set up a business, you don’t have to grease palms, cops don’t demand backhanders (outside of episodes of Raw) etc.

Dave, that is precisely my point. The people involved in FIFA votes are the elites. So why relate it to an indexof day to day corruption and not corruption of the elites. And I don’t agree with your assertion that setting up a business is easy. You may not have to pay backhanders but dealings often occur on the basis of who you know and not the level of service you deliver. Finally there are other hidden and not so hidden costs of doing business in Ireland, mostly due to the overpriced services of the protected sector which can make Ireland as expensive to do business in as a country lower down the index. In any case the rank of 14 is not merited.

The inverse relationship Colm has spotted seems to hold, but it doesn’t seem to say very much about the quality of TI’s index when a country that is ranked so highly (i.e., Ireland at 14) can screw up so royally in governance terms.

1. Is it not a fact that the corruption index relies heavily on the views of foreign businessmen within a country. Since the FDI part of the economy is presumably clean (maybe the only part of the economy that is clean), would that explain Ireland’s strange high rating?

2. If the Brits are certain that only corruption explains the selection of sites for the World Cup, how come London got the Olympics? Is the Olympic committee such a different animal?

Comments are closed.