Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blatter... WTF!??

Ok, I do get it. I understand that FIFA really isn't interested in organizing soccer/football matches and that they aren't really interested in helping developing nations enhance their way of life through sport. I get it, I really do.

FIFA is only in it for the money. They want as much money as can possibly be steered their way and they will do anything that will help them get it.

Just look at CONCACAF's President, Jack Warner. The guy sells his free tickets to the 2006 World Cup, when they should have been given away. FIFA gave him a slap on the slap on the wrist, almost saying, "Damn, Jack, we aren't mad you did it... we are mad that you came up with that idea first!"

Warner then tries to get the Scottish FA to pay him personally the money that was for the match fee of a match between Trinidad and Tobago & Scotland. Talk about one shady guy.

Wait! That's not the only thing, there's more!

FIFA instituted a continental rotation policy for the World Cup. They did this so that all of the confederations would have the chance to host at least one World Cup. So far we have had the 2002 World Cup in Asia (Korea & Japan), the 2006 World Cup in Europe (Germany), the 2010 World Cup will be held in Africa (South Africa) & the 2014 looks all but set for South America (Brazil). The only two confederations that haven't hosted a World Cup, in this rotation cycle are OCEANIA & CONCACAF.

So we have two more confederations that should be up for host rights, yet now FIFA Generalissimo Sepp Blatter wants to end the rotation system in favor of letting anyone (minus members of the continent that previously hosted one) to bid for the next World Cup, starting with 2018.

Uh, Sepp? Excuse me, but don't you have two more stops on your around the world trip of football/soccer? What is that you say, you can't make any money off of the other two regions so you don't want them to host? Is that right?

It has to be, along with the fact that when CONMEBOL essentially cut FIFA off at the knees when they only presented one member nation as the bidder for the 2014 World Cup. FIFA wasn't able to have multiple nations spend heaps of money on them for inspection visits or even really have any type of bidding war go on. FIFA lost money on the 2014 World Cup even before the 2010 cup kicked off. That scared the living hell out of their bank accounts.

Think of it. If CONCACAF were to get the sole right to bid for the 2018 cup, it would really be down to Mexico, Canada and the USA. FIFA rules for how a World Cup is hosted (stadium sizes, number of stadiums per city) and such would pretty much eliminate Canada (sorry neighbor) because the Canadians don't have the right number of stadiums that are large enough for the World Cup, by the rules. Further more, I suspect that the Canadians are smart enough to realize that even if they spent mass amounts of money on build huge stadiums, they would go to waste, just like the ones in Korea have. So Canada would be out.

So that leaves us with Mexico and the USA. Mexico has the stadiums to host, but are those stadiums truly up to the World Cup spec? Besides, Mexico has already hosted two World Cups, and granting Mexico a third before other countries like England or Spain even host their second cup, seem very doubtful. FIFA would get too much flak from the very countries that they have to keep happy.

That leaves the USA. That also leaves us with the problem that FIFA has seen with Brazil, and a bigger problem on top of that. First off, CONCACAF would probably go through the same elimination process as I have and finally just support the USA's bid, which would give FIFA the same problem as Brazil did, no bidding war.

Second, and this is the biggest problem; with the USA hosting, all the money that would be generated for FIFA "friends" would never be seen. "Friends" I say? Which friends? The friends that all get the lucrative stadium construction contracts. They won't get these because the stadiums are already in place, thanks to the NFL. Each NFL owner is going blind trying to build a bigger and more spectacular stadium, to entice another big money making event: The SuperBowl. Because these stadiums are so big and can already meet the FIFA regulations for World Cup stadiums, FIFA wouldn't be able to truly steer any of their friends to any of the construction contracts, which would mean no kick backs for FIFA.

Facing this problem, Blatter and FIFA have now decided that they stand to make more money without the rotation system and have an open bidding system. You have more people bidding, which means more expense paid visits to China, England, Australia, the USA, Italy and so on. FIFA will make record amounts of money through this new, open bidding system.

What we will finally end up with is that we will see the World Cup primarily played in Europe from now on. We might have one in China, one in the USA, and one in Austrailia, but we will get the 2018 World Cup in either England or in Italy. We will get this because as the 2006 World Cup showed, FIFA gets more money when people show up for the tournament. The USA will get another one, simply because the only one the USA ever hosted broke records for the number of fans in the stadiums and that means huge amounts of money for FIFA. The USA will only get one with an open bidding process, because that also makes money for FIFA.

The entire idea of a fair and impartial process being used for the rights to host a World Cup is a joke.

Does the football/soccer even need to get played anymore?

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