The Guardian reported on Saturday that Gordon Brown has effectively bounced the Football Association into bidding for the 2018 World Cup.
A decision on whether to launch a 2018 bid is far from urgent – the FA need not confirm its intention for at least four years – and both football and Whitehall sources suggested that Brown’s support has as much to do with his rivalry with the prime minister as his love of football. A genuine Falkirk fan but a lukewarm supporter of the Olympic project, Brown insisted on a funding package that ensured the Treasury would not have to pay a penny towards the infrastructure costs of staging the games. (Guardian)
It’s not difficult to see what’s going on here. This is about proving that Gordon Brown can stand up for English interests. It’s a tacit acknowledgement that Brown’s status as a Scottish MP might be a problem given the current lopsided devolution setup.
Where ambitions on the scale of Brown’s are concerned, little matters like consulting the FA before lumbering them with a decade-long commitment are minor details.
Politicians, don’t you love them.