Union City Blue

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FIFA Sucks, Part Two

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“Football is not only about winning, football is also a school of life when you learn to lose,” Sepp Blatter

No, I don’t think so, Sepp. By the way, could you be any more arrogant and condescending?

I am not a big fan of passively accepting the outcome of an unfair situation.  Serious damage was done to the sport of soccer on December 2 that can never be repaired.  The outcome of the bid awards affect eight other nations other than the United States directly, and many others indirectly. Learning to lose is an important life skill, but the playing field needs to be level for this concept to have much meaning.  It is clear that the lengthy and expensive bid process that the United State and other countries went through was a degrading and unnecessary dog and pony show designed to create the illusion that the bidding process was one based on merit.  If FIFA was going to award World Cup hosting rights based on a theory of entitlement bought with fat wallets, they should have said so up front and saved everyone the trouble.

I am done with FIFA and its sponsored events. I strongly oppose a U.S. bid for the 2026 World Cup or any other FIFA event, ever. I will not be writing about or commenting on FIFA sponsored events, beginning with the upcoming World Club Cup and continuing with the Women’s World Cup this Summer. I also urge people to contact FIFA’s sponsors to express their concerns about FIFA’s lack of accountability, transparency and culture of corruption. The following are FIFA Partners:

  • Adidas
  • Coca-Cola
  • Emirates
  • Hyundai-Kia Motors
  • Sony
  • VISA

It is important, now more than ever, to support your local soccer institutions to insure the continued growth of the sport in this country, whether they be MLS, WPS, NASL, USSL, NCAA or youth soccer.

Russia and Qatar will spend whatever money is necessary, no matter how ridiculous or better off spent elsewhere, to insure that the events they have been awarded will come off without significant problems.  Any country can look like it has its act pulled together for three weeks. Whether or not these events will be truly successful remains to be seen.  The reality of the situation is that these events are judged after the fact by ticket sales, attendance, tv ratings, and revenue generated. Both tournaments face significant challenges in this regard, and both bids were rated poorly on these factors by FIFA’s own inspectors.

FIFA, Russia and Qatar have put forth the justification that these bid awards will be change perceptions (alleged “stereotypes” and “clichés”) of the countries involved and are about change and a progressive world view. Nothing could be further from the truth. These bids were successful because these countries had the largest bid budgets. A three week football tournament in which most coverage will be concentrated on the event itself will do nothing to change world-wide views of these nations. Has anyone’s perception of China changed due to its hosting of the Summer Olympics? How about South Africa? I know my impression of South Africa actually became worse because of its hosting of the World Cup. Most of the negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar are based on facts, and until the underlying facts change, the perceptions won’t change.

Although inclusion and diversity are worthy goals, institutions like FIFA should not ignore the culture of corruption and poor human rights records present in many areas of the world in their pursuit.  Especially when it’s really just about the money.

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One Response

F.I.F.A. makes sure the team they want to win wins…….

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