The More, the Merrier: FIFA World Cup Transformed Beyond Recognition!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The More, the Merrier: FIFA World Cup Transformed Beyond Recognition!

  1. It’s certainly a revolutionary move.

    It makes the qualifying stages even more lacklustre than ever.

    It’s way too long to wait for each football World Cup or Olympics for both the participants and fans. One injury just before a tournament can mean a sportsperson has to wait another four years for their chance to achieve their dreams. So a better option would have been for FIFA and the IOC to collaborate to make each of their premier global tournaments every three years.

    Here’s a terrific article on ESPN ( http://www.espn.com/espn/news/story?id=5919881 ) which suggests the same frequency:

    “South Africa 2010 reminded us that the planet’s biggest sporting event gets bigger every four years. Which is exactly why it should happen every three.

    If the USA’s recent failure to land the 2022 edition proves anything — other than the shadiness of the voting process — it’s that the demand to host the Cup greatly outweighs the supply. In the 80 years since the first showcase in Uruguay, only 16 countries have held the event, and the trophy has been awarded just 19 times. Sure, infrequency adds mystique. It also leaves us hanging, not to mention players who peak between Cups. Would anyone suggest playing the Super Bowl every four years?

    Bring this proposal to FIFA and it would surely cite scheduling issues. Well, we’ve solved those. We’re not adding off-year matches, just making existing ones more meaningful. To reach the European championship, Euro 2012, current titlist Spain has to play four games against Lithuania (46th in the world) and Liechtenstein (158th). Instead of holding separate qualifiers for the World Cup and continental championships, confederations should give Cup qualifiers auto berths into their regional tourneys, then let the best of the rest fight for the final spots during the summer of the Cup. It’s a three-year cycle: qualifying, followed by the World Cup, then regional championships, with minnows playing each other for the right to face the whales.

    This is where FIFA would fall back to this-is-what-we’ve-always-done mode. In fact, Chuck Blazer, the lone American on FIFA’s executive committee, got that treatment when he brought up a triennial Cup a couple of years ago. But there is one thing FIFA loves more than tradition: money. And 95% of its operating income comes from the Cup. The fastest way to make more is to hold its main event more often.”

    What do you think Team Mediolana?

    • Many thanks for your kind comment!

      Our dos centavos: the prospect of a FIFA World Cup every two years is one that has been on the agenda for at least the best part of two decades, and for the reasons you’ve outlined, it’s not hard to see why. The key cause behind it not happening is that, simply and counter-intuitively put, international football is not just FIFA: the continental federations have their own lucrative international tournaments to protect. UEFA and CAF in particular are loath to do anything that might jeopardise the European Nations Cup and Africa Cup of Nations respectively. Additionally, these latter tournaments are very big deals indeed for football fans in those regions.

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