ZURICH – Lee Nelson has been awarded the 2026 World Cup moments after throwing banknotes over FIFA President Sepp Blatter during a press conference.
The fictitious character illegally gained entry to the FIFA headquarters in Zurich and showered a seated Blatter with substantial amounts of cash.
Sepp Blatter’s decision to award Nelson the 2026 World Cup is said to have been made “before the last note hit the floor”.
The press conference was delayed by 10 minutes while FIFA officials scooped up the money and counted it before ratifying the decision to appoint Nelson as World Cup host.
Lee Nelson is a surprise winner of host duties as he was not considered a candidate until throwing money at Sepp Blatter.
Many have credited the move to launch money directly at Blatter’s person as the “tipping point” in the bidding process.
The comedic character has beaten the challenge of strong bids from USA, Uruguay plus a joint bid from two briefcases packed with small unmarked bills.
Lee Nelson will become the first comedic personality to host the 32 team competition. Blatter said he was confident Nelson would deliver a “fantastic World Cup experience” despite not being an internationally recognised country.
While other bids “could point to meticulous planning over many years to build presentations demonstrating their ability to run a world-class sporting tournament,” observers admitted Lee Nelson “ultimately had a better understanding of the audience he was pitching to.”
The still FIFA president praised the fictional character for the “strength of his bid”. Blatter expressed his desire to see football’s greatest showcase held in the “new home of football, the actual home of Mr Nelson.”
However, the decision has come under fire by those within the sport. Chief among concerns is whether Nelson’s two bedroom semi-detached home with north facing garden could accommodate 22 players and expected crowds of 50 to 60 thousand.
FIFA say they have already begun negotiations with the Hamiltons in number 37 and the Guptas in 41 to expand capacity by using neighbouring gardens.
“Of course there will be challenges,” admitted Blatter, addressing criticisms over limited capacity at the single venue. “But we can make this work.”
He went on to add: “nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred…one million.”
“We will make it work. For the good of football.”