WAY back when, on the set of Superman II, Christopher Reeve asked Gene Hackman: “How did they persuade you to be in a Superman movie?” “You mean besides the money?” Hackman replied.
That reply is reminiscent of the reply given by the former French soccer captain Zinedine Zidane, in a interview in the Herald in February, as to whether the reason he so publicly backed Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid was because of the money. Zidane replied: “After studying Qatar’s project, I wanted to do it and I will tell you why. But first of all I want to touch upon something: money. Ten, 11, 12, 13 million euros was mentioned. I will say it clearly: that’s a load of rubbish. It wasn’t even a third of these sums.”
Hold your nose
And how odd that I should mention the subject of the 2022 World Cup bid and money. For a fortnight ago, it was revealed that there is still $11 million unaccounted for, of the $45 million Australian taxpayers put towards our failed soccer World Cup bid. We know at least some of the $45 million went to Australia’s World Cup bid consultant Peter Hargitay, who was last referred to in this space as “an arrogant, presumptuous dickhead” for the manner in which he dealt with quite legitimate inquiries as to how much he was paid. But here’s the interesting part. Shortly after writing that relatively mild rebuke, I was contacted by Andrew Jennings, the famed British author of, among other books, FOUL! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals, 2006. He pointed me to info on his website – http://www.transparencyinsport.org – concerning the background of this man, whom Football Federation Australia contracted and to whom the federal government paid your and my taxpayer dollars. Hold your nose and step into the next item if you will.