Thursday, 2 December 2010

In Defence Of FIFA

So a corrupt organisation awards the greatest sporting event on the planet to a gangster state? No surprise there then. or is it?

Fifa since 1990 and really the birth of the "global game" have pretty much followed the money, and that means taking the world cup to new markets.
*USA 94, football was just beginning to make inroads.
*France 1998, to try and make the French a football nation.
*Japan/Korea 2002 again an emerging market.
*Germany 2006, Strangely enough the German FA is not in the same league money wise as England and needed to upgrade its stadiums and to do so needed the world cup to get the government on side with the money.
*South Africa 2010, obvious reasons, new markets and South Africa being the really only viable venue in Africa
*Brazil 2014, a bit like Germany 2006. Domestic football in Brazil is a mess and needs the imputes of the world cup to sort itself out.

So there is a strong case that FIFA are just following the rule of using the world cup to garnish new markets and solidify existing ones.

Does England need the World Cup? English football will do fine without it I should think, its already probably the only organisation that can match FIFA for income revenue. Of course they hate us, when you have two of the biggest leagues in the world (EPL and Championship)in the top five world leagues you present competition to them.

Despite the fact that Russia is a gangster state (some would say that South Africa is too as well as large parts of Brazil) and is in the same place we were in the 1970s with regard to racism , Russia ticks all the right boxes with its untapped market, the first eastern European nation to host the World cup.

Qatar is a little different, box ticked being the first Middle Eastern nation but and its a big but, the summer climate. I've lived in the Gulf and their summers are seriously uncomfortable, It is extremely difficult even with AC and all the other technologies to keep cool and especially to try and play sport. The 2022 world cup might produce the first death of a player its that bad. You can build all the Air Conditioned stadia you want but you still have to live in one of the most repressive climates in the world. But then again one of the greatest games in FIFA world cup history was played in extreme heat of a Barcelona summer afternoon. Qatar is a big risk, but then again they have deep pockets.

So can England ever hope to see the World cup on our shores again. 2030 looks a good bet. 2030 is the World Cups centenary year, what better than a joint British world cup, with an expanded format as a one off event. Football really would come home.

As for coming dead last and out in the first round, I am sure our Media will be on their case. they will hopefully get our revenge and more importantly get this strange organisation to reform itself.

The most important question Fifa need to be asking themselves is why is it since 1986 have we not had a truly great World Cup?

My answer to that is simple, TV has brought in more money and thus more risk and as such football has become more risk adverse. From a footballing point of view FIFA have made the wrong choices. "For the good of the game" is not just about money.

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