Is FIFA for real or is Armando Iannucci writing the script?

Any minute now, or at least well before the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, it's all going to be revealed as a gigantic hoax, right?

Ever since the moment when the comic genius – sorry, president of FIFA – Sepp Blatter stood up in December 2010 and announced to a visibly shaken audience that the world-famous footballing nation of Qatar (average summer temperature 50 degrees C) would host the biggest footballing event on the planet, I think we all guessed the truth. 

Channel 4 had clearly hooked up with a social media player for the greatest ever experiment in alternative reality TV.

Any minute now, the reveal will come. It will all have been one of those Christmas party funny films, Sepp will burst out laughing, saying "No but seriously folks..." and a more appropriate – a less hot – bidder will get the gig.

It hasn't happened yet, though. Will footballing authorities around the world meekly accept that there is no reversing this plainly crazy decision and get on with trying to make it work?

Leave aside that the 77-year-old Blatter is famous for defending diving players, telling the ladies to wear tighter shorts to attract more followers to women’s sports and abhorring goal-line technology. 

One of his officials has said that FIFA did not read its own reports about the problems associated with hosting a sporting tournament in 50 degrees. Well, do you know what? We could have told you that for nothing, Sepp. No need to commission the report.

It turns out that it’s no joke. If the comms director of FIFA has any hair left to tear out, there are reports of a number of workers having died constructing the stadia, along with the threat of a players’ strike.

It is obvious to everyone – with the exception of Blatter – that the matches can’t be played in a cauldron. So now the effort begins to disrupt the seasons of all the major football leagues in the world by moving the tournament to our winter.

Most PRs like a good challenge, so what would you do if you got the call?

For now, at least some modicum of sense appears to be emerging. FIFA has promised a review to be conducted with "diplomacy and wisdom". That’ll be a first. It has bought a bit of time by deferring the outcome of that consultation until 2015.  Which will be the year when Blatter eventually stands down. So assuming nothing much will change until then, all you can really do is focus on what comes next.

Better start preparing the ground now for a move to the winter season because that is obviously going to be the outcome.  

An immediate priority is to start building bridges at the earliest moment with the global footballing authorities, a Sisyphean task if ever there was one, as you ask them all to rejig their schedules in 2022.

And finally, use all your powers of persuasion to ensure the next president has got a slightly better grasp on 21st century sensibilities. I know. How about putting a woman in the job?

Siobhan Kenny is the former group comms director at HarperCollins and headed up the DCMS team as London's 2012 Olympic bid was launched

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