Played: Inside Australia’s Failed World Cup Bid promised to tell the story of how Australia were stooged out of winning the 2022 Soccer World Cup but all it really did was present an old fella watching movie films in his living room and lamenting what could have been. Once upon a time, seeing the scale of FIFA’s bribary and corruption might have shocked us but nowadays it’s pretty unremarkable.
The documentary did shine some light on Frank Lowy’s slightly misguided pitch for world football’s holy grail. Remember that horrible cartoon of the kangaroo stealing the world cup? Well it turns out there was a directors cut featuring a bunch of Aussie Rules footballers kicking the World Cup trophy around on the MCG. Apparently it didn’t go down too well with the FIFA delegates who found it disrespectful and demanded it be edited out before the video’s public release.
Two shady looking character were flown in at the eleventh hour to get the Australian bid back on track and paid $5M each to try and woo FIFA delegates but Frank Lowy seemed to be pushing it uphill the whole time. The only saving grace for him was that Elle McPherson turned up to make the final presentation with him in Zurich. You have to wonder, ‘why wasn’t she doing the wooing?’
Predictably, the most frustrating thing about this doco is Sepp Blatter. He wasn’t subjected to Leigh Sales’ typical hard hitting questions in his interview which was infuriating. He just joked and smiled through what seemed like a conditional interview (the condition being ‘don’t reveal me to be the dark overlord of world sport’). Frankly, it would have been easier to watch if he was left out altogether.
Frank Lowy says he still feels embarrassed about spearheading Australia’s failed 2022 World Cup bid. He shouldn’t. Nobody will remember him for that. We will all remember him as the old bloke who fell off the podium at the 2015 A League Grand Final.
Played: Inside Australia’s Failed World Cup Bid aired on ABC, Tues Nov 17 at 8:30 .
What did you think of it? Leave a comment below…