FIFA announced this morning that their internal inquiry has formally cleared the successful 2022 World Cup bid from the planet Neptune of all corruption charges. ‘This is great news,’ explained Tharak the Mighty, one of the Neptunian sentient gas beings that fronted the bid. ‘This should finally put to bed all the allegations and lies that have been made against us’.
He continued: ‘Just because I threatened to smite your puny, miserable planet with the mighty Sword of Krun Tor if we didn’t win, it does not mean that anything untoward took place’. The bid has long been the subject of intense debate. Many experts have expressed concerns that the planet was ‘ill equipped’ to host a major sporting event.
Professor Brian Cox for instance, playfully brushing aside a lock of lustrous hair from his boyish yet smackable chops, explained: ‘Neptune’s average surface of temperature of -200 degrees Celsius would make playing conditions very difficult, as would the abundance of methane in the lower atmosphere.’
‘But in particular, its dynamic storm systems with wind speeds reaching 1300 mph would make it very challenging indeed. It’s hard to imagine Wayne Rooney controlling a football in that sort of climate, although frankly it’s quite difficult to imagine that in normal conditions as well’
Others have questioned whether the planet’s tourist infrastructure was suitably developed for hosting such an event. The planet lacks even the most basic hotels and public transport services. And at a distance of over 2.75 billion miles from earth, direct flights are expected to be at a premium. Ryanair however, have recently announced plans for a new service, landing at a nearby airport just 40km outside Paris.
Despite these criticisms, FIFA now hopes that this will draw a line under the controversy. President Sepp Blatter was quoted this morning:‘This is the end of things as far as I’m concerned. Those who continue to criticise the Neptune World Cup are living in the Stone Age. After all, it’s no more silly to host a World Cup on a distant, gaseous world than it would be to host one in the desert in the middle of summer, is it?’