The controversial intervention of the FA Chairman, David Bernstein, at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on Wednesday has raised a number of matters.

There is no doubt that the Football Association is still smarting from the humiliation of the vote for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in December 2010 and sees a conspiracy against, what most would agree, was the strongest technical bid.

The stadia are there and are full every match day to broadcast live matches to all parts of the world. The infrastructure of hotels and transport is also in position and there is the unquestionable fact that England is a hotbed of football with an incomparable history as the birthplace of the modern game.

Suggestions have been made that the bid process was flawed because of bribes paid by competing countries for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

But there is a fine dividing line between what some would consider to be a bribe and what others would consider to be a development project and assistance.

The dictionary definition of a bribe is “a gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct.”

We now start to enter murky waters.

Did the Football Association attempt to influence Jack Warner, the FIFA Vice-President and President of CONCACAF, by agreeing to play a match against Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean on 1st June 2008, or was this merely an attempt to develop the game in the area with no thought of the possible vote of the Caribbean countries for England’s bid in 2010?

Did the FA agree to appoint three successive English coaches for the Thailand national team – Peter Withe, Peter Reid and Bryan Robson – and agree to a friendly match in the future between the two countries, without suggesting that Dato’ Worawi Makudi, President of the Football Association of Thailand and a  member of the FIFA Executive Committee might support the English bid?

Interesting questions.

As the saying goes “people in glass houses should not throw stones” – or should it be “people in glass houses should not take baths”?

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