Manipulator: Sepp Blatter intends to secure another term as FIFA president. Photo: AP
Football has the global leadership it deserves and, as such, it is little use wailing if FIFA ultimately leaves Australia without compensation and having to watch the 2022 World Cup between trips to the beach and summer barbecues.
The process was ethically corrupt and, while others spoke out and agitated for change in transparency and governance, we sat silent, apparently hoping the decision on 2022 would be reversed, or at least revisited.
The problem with this is that Sepp Blatter has not survived for three decades by having such momentous decisions reversed, with the obvious embarrassment and potential financial pain that would result, so Australia and other naysayers are up against a master manipulator whom they helped support and protect.
If nothing else, through silence.
There is little doubt Blatter's intention to secure another term as president is caught up in the turmoil over 2022, so much of FIFA machinations are simply about preparing and campaigning for office, meaning the best and probably only hope would be if Blatter wished to genuinely explore and expose the diabolical decision and process for his own ends. This does not appear to be the case.
This is why Australia has little choice other than to join the international chorus for compensation for the bid money and disruption to our professional league. The US spoke out first, with Sunil Gulati, now an executive committee member, calling for FIFA not to rush the decision at the forthcoming meeting in Zurich, with so many unanswered questions needing answers.
Frank Lowy followed suit, making the same call and for the ethics committee's investigative chamber to complete its probe into allegations of corruption before resolving to move the tournament date. The message and language were very strong and signalled a full departure from the diplomacy Lowy had initially tried to employ, an indication that soft methods had completely failed. Irrespective of what Blatter promised or promises, everything can change in an instant when it comes to the global politics of football. All that matters, far more than the game, is to stay in power.
But one thing is certain, Lowy doesn't want compensation, only as a fall-back position anyway. What he covets above all else is for the decision to be reopened, but the clock is ticking and the longer it goes, the more difficult this becomes. The best hope was to agitate to completely overhaul FIFA several years ago making this feel very much like one last, desperate throw of the dice.
Bidding nations ran campaigns based on one set of criteria and, in an attempt to justify and protect a shocking and very likely corrupt decision, the criteria have now been discarded and a new set of rules appears. In the end, it's all one, big con. Now you see it, now you don't.
Blatter the magician with five cups on the table, all having spent tens of millions of dollars, the cups moving around until no one, save the president, knows any longer where the prize lies. Smoke, mirrors and voila`, your pocket is picked and the circus moves on.
There's every chance FIFA already had in mind to move the tournament and, if so, the strategy since has been very well executed. Step by step, Blatter gets one stakeholder on side after another until, eventually, there's enough support and momentum for a move that looked all but impossible.
The key moment was when Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, president of the European Clubs Association and therefore the party most affected by any proposed change in scheduling to play the tournament smack bang in the middle of the European season, causing untold disruption on a scale not seen before, came out last week and said he was open to the possibility of such a move.
For Blatter to get the powerful clubs on board, when they are already fighting for greater compensation to release players for international duty, is a masterpiece of political manoeuvring.
Having let others fight the battle for transparency and better governance, Australia hopes there will be enough pressure to delay any further decisions on 2022 until the investigation is complete.
Who knows, we still may get compensation for one of the greatest pieces of deception seen in global sport and, like the other bidders, we certainly deserve at least that much, but the real battle we should have waged is for the integrity of FIFA itself.
It's not good enough to seek ethics and transparency only when it suits us. We have a wider responsibility to the game.
After all, we get the leadership, and the decision-making we deserve.
Twitter - @Craig_Foster