To its critics it belonged on the History Channel, but to those not immersed in the workings of Fifa and the politicking that permeates each nook and cranny of their Zurich HQ, last night's Panorama must have been an eye-opening introduction. Its timing is likely to damage England's chances but it did contain new allegations, albeit on an old theme.
The collapse of ISL, a marketing firm employed by Fifa, happened in 2001; the claims advanced with typical zeal by Andrew Jennings stem from the company's actions over the previous decade but they have not been in the public domain before. Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira are current senior members of Fifa and will vote on Thursday. Jennings accused both of accepting large brides from ISL.
The most entertaining encounter was with Jack Warner, who is no stranger to being badgered by reporters, and is David Cameron's lunch guest today. After Jennings accompanied him through an airport, Warner informed the reporter that he would spit on him before changing his mind and informing his pursuer: "I would not dignify you with my spit. You're garbage."
Warner is a powerful man with a chequered past. To win this World Cup England need him. You pays your money and you takes your choice, and Panorama helped lay out that choice last night.Reuse content