There is, quite simply, nothing to touch it. The hardest fought sports rivalry of my lifetime has been that between the International Olympic Committee and Fifa. It is the Reichenbach Falls of scumbaggery – a site of titanic struggle between worthy foes, a struggle in which I have frequently called the winner too early.
One year ago, while watching Fifa bigwigs being escorted to police cars by hotel staff literally shielding them with their own dirty linen, I remember thinking that the IOC couldn’t have matched this. There were $29m (£22m) Amex bills, there was the hilariously timed release of a vanity movie, there was the stop-motion implosion of Sepp Blatter. The IOC, for all their baroque scandals and malevolence down the years, were at least not this bad.
My apologies. Once again I hear Michael Corleone just managing to keep a lid on his frustration as he asks me: “Who’s being naive, Kay?” I mean, really … at least you could believe the football, even if it was happening in Qatar. Spectators effectively now have to be doping to believe the Olympics.