In the world of sport, there are few competitions that can compete with the Jules Rimet trophy, the World Cup.
The biggest prize in sport however, was the once much admired and globally respected heavyweight title of the world, which was the domain of athletes at the height of their power and abilities in the square ring.
Both these sports are now universally suspected, of achieving the unenviable honour of being unique in the levels of corruption that they have reached.
Under the ever watchful eye, and the stranglehold that exists under the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the World Cup has become one of the most lucrative sports events on this planet.
For it’s sponsors and backers that is.
Football and Boxing are not the only culprits though, as anyone who witnessed the fairly recent toe-curlingly embarrassing obscenity, that was the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, can testify to.
Sport in general, has been for a long time, focussed more on the cash that athletes and sports competitions can generate, than their dedication, abilities or even performance in any sports ‘competition’.
Corruption, greed and massive levels of corporation sponsorship, have without a doubt, eased the passage for the pre-selected winners, throughout each level of any competitions that command a worldwide audience.
I am not going to go into the reasons why Brazil should never have been allowed to host this years competition, nor attempt to predict the winner, which is generally believed to be the host nation after an all South American final.
I personally want a German victory, but I base that on natural ability, a will to win and a footballing pedigree that speaks for itself, but that’s another story altogether.
I prefer to look at some of the better known ‘conspiracies’ and ‘theories’ that have been already discussed over the years.
The first one is the increasing suspicion that the draw for the 2014 World Cup was rigged.
Argentinian newspaper La Nacion have claimed that two of their reporters were assured well ahead of the draw that Argentina would be placed in Group F, along with Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria.
Paving the way for an Argentinian final against the host nation perhaps ?
It has also been claimed, that the draw was rigged to favour the hosts.
History has proved this to be often the case, as a series of ‘unusual’ events which surrounded the 1966 competition, for example, staged in England and won by the host nation, have raised suspicion over the victory ever since.
Ahead of the 1970 World Cup, England captain Bobby Moore was arrested by Columbian police after being accused of stealing jewellery in Bogota.
Moore was cleared of any wrongdoing before being released to re-join the England squad, leading to the widely-held belief that Moore was framed to disrupt England, the tournament holders and clear favourites.
South Korea’s 2002 World Cup semi-final run has long been suspected of foul play, as the host nation, unusually beat Portugal, Spain and Italy on the way to the last four places.
Italian politicians made accusations that behind the scenes powers, rigged the quarter-final, which later proved to have an element of truth, as Byron Moreno, the referee of the game was later found guilty of corruption.
Ahead of the 1998 final, Brazil shocked the footballing world by announcing that their star player Ronaldo would not be starting the game.
But one half-hour before kick off, he was back in the starting line up.
It later emerged he suffered a ‘seizure’ before kick off, initially ruling him out.
It is alleged that the competition sponsors Nike, put immense pressure on Brazil to ensure their most marketable (cash-generating) star played, regardless of his personal circumstances.
The decision to award Qatar the right to host the 2022 competition has also created huge controversy, as Qatar has been widely accused of ‘Buying’ the competition with evidence emerging that certain FIFA executives sold their votes.
It is also claimed that FIFA executive member for Qatar Mohamed Bin Hamann paid £3M to football officials, in return for supporting Qatar’s successful campaign.
Billions of people will tune in however, countless thousands will travel to the individual games, hotels booked, bets will be placed, pubs and supermarkets will be packed, and ample cheaply produced merchandise made readily available, to keep the sponsors happy.
So it really does not matter who wins on the field, the protests against the competition’s location and the brutality of the Brazilian police, the corruption behind it, or the abject poverty of the majority of ordinary Brazilians who have to endure this spectacle does it ?