The BBC plans to broadcast a Panorama documentary into allegations of FIFA corruption, which it says is in the public interest, on 29 November – three days ahead of the decision on the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 competitions.
Anson said the state-funded broadcaster’s plans smacked of “sensationalism.”
“I am incredibly disappointed with the timing of what the BBC seems to be proposing with Panorama,” he said. “If they truly believe there is a journalistic reason to run this programme, then they could have done it any time in the last two years. To do it the week before the vote is about one thing and that’s sensationalism. I don’t think that’s helpful and I don’t think it’s patriotic.”
FIFA’s inspectors yesterday gave England’s World Cup bid an encouraging “low risk” rating in its evaluation report on the nine bidders for 2018 and 2022.