Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Who's Afraid? - brief update #13 (World Cup Edition)
Reading the letters page in today's Australian was something of an eye-opener. Those who don't follow or appreciate football are perfectly entitled to criticise the government for this use of their money, of course, but the sheer parochialism and ignorance of many football refusers is sometimes breathtaking.
One particular correspondent, from Melbourne, lambasted the bid vigorously from all sides; after a reference to Ray Gatt's cautiously pessimistic piece of the day before, there were the worries about "certain Balkan countries meeting" on the field (this has almost never happened in the World Cup), concerns about "local soccer fans going on the rampage" (they might even feel inclined to throw another plastic bottle or two, but never mind, the Counter-Terrorist Unit is at the ready), and lastly there is a dismissive prediction that a game between Poland and Mexico would be played "in front of a couple of thousand people".
Err...I'm sorry? At the World Cup?
The stadia question is not such a huge issue if we have plenty of time to prepare, and I think the AFL/league concern could be overcome with a bit of clever negotiation (read subtle bribery).
And as for the FIFA politics, of course it's a corrupt, byzantine organization, but if Lowy can engineer Australia's move into Asia (which was an incredible coup, considering the opposition to it from within the AFC), then nothing's impossible with his money and influence.
Our best chance is a late gazumping of Brazil for the 2014 tournament, IMO. They are way behind the eight-ball with preparation, the man in charge of Brazilian football is a complete crook, and if things go as they have been then a switch to probably England for that one is well within the bounds of possibility, I would think.
Which would not only take one of the 2018 bidders out of the running, but give the Euro TV rights holders (and thus FIFA) the bonanza they want, which would make it less crucial for them to make a mint out of the TV rights in 2018.
Hope that all sounds coherent!
I find it amazing that few people realise the biggest viewing events are in order,
THe world cup,The Euro championships and then the Olympics and then only because of football
I think this is something that gets bandied about far too often to be honest. By 2018 the markets of China and India, not to mention Korea, Japan etc, will be able to offer something in the vicinity of Europe's TV offer. You only have to look around the fence of the last few world cups to see where the money is coming from (Hyundai, Sony et al).
I think more of an issue is that it will be 16 years without a European world cup more than strictly TV rights. But then who in 1978 would have said that South America would wait 36 years for another world cup? (acknowledges the Columbia issue of '86...and the already acknowledged Brazil issue of 2014. Surely they won't do it again....)
Ah but Mikey you see we Melburnians are people of the world. We've seen the FINA championships come to town and the Comm Games amongst all of the worlds blockbuster events.
We know that people don't attend these things unless Australia is involved ;)
...I think more of an issue is that it will be 16 years without a European world cup more than strictly TV rights....
You may well be right (after all, every second WC has been in Europe since the war, so 16 years away would be a big change). Yet another reason why we should be praying earnestly for a late switch for 2014.
As for Asian TV rights versus European ones, I actually mentioned that briefly here...but I don't think the pendulum will have swung quite far enough by the time the decision is made
I must admit I was shocked by the vitriol against football by most of the writers.
I guess that's what happens when Herald-Sun readers manage to write more than a couple of syllables. The language improves but their brain doesn't.
I consider myself bicodal, and I love Australian Rules football. But when I read crap like that I become (momentarily fortunately) a 'Football Nazi' that wants football to conquer and swamp all over other codes. "Fußball über alles!"
Fortunately I calm down after a while.