Residents in Augher and Clogher woke today to the disappointing news that Fifa have rejected their joint bid to host the 2022 World Cup at the first round of eliminations. The ambitious project was hoping to see off rivals Argentina, Australia and China but fell short in what Fifa described as ‘major accomodation issues’. Augher Lord Mayor Jackie McKenna, who headed the bid, announced the decision from Fifa this morning outside the Spar:
“We are bitterly disappointed. My committee put a lot of effort in to taking pictures of fields and makeshift pitches, put them all onto a PowerPoint and sent it in an email. Finding someone who could do all that computer stuff wasn’t easy. Although this is a set-back, we will regroup and perhaps target the 2024 Olympics. We will bring a major world event to Tyrone, mark my words.”
Fifa sent back a list of reasons why they couldn’t advance the Augher/Clogher bid to the next round. They included the need to seat up to 100’000 people in a stadium, house half a million more fans in the area and general lack of media facilities to cope with 188 TV stations from around the world. McKenna claims this was a smokescreen:
To be honest, that’s a load of balls. There’s talk of a new Subway being built in Fivemiletown. We have this Spar, a Post Office and a few pubs. What more do these foreigners want? We got promises from a couple of local joiners that they’d build a big wooden stand and all. Also, my nephew is training to be a spark and he could have wired up a few plugs for the TV boys. As for accommodation, have they never heard of caravans? They’re prejudiced against small rural villages like ourselves. Aghayaran said they were laughed at by Fifa officials in 1970 when they tried to rival the Mexico bid.
In a show of strength, Augher is today hosting their Horn Dance which is performed by six deer-men who wear reindeer horns. The dancers follow a 10 mile course and perform the horn-dancing ritual in 12 different locations in and around the village, whilst the musician plays tunes such as “The Farmers Boy” and “Uncle Mick” on a melodeon, with accompaniment from a triangle.