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World Cup

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A typical Fifa power and money grab?

A typical Fifa money and power grab which would diminish the quality of the compeition was how critics of the organisation characterised its proposals for changes to the World Cup from 2026.   More moderate critics were concerned that Fifa was diluting its brand,  The tournament would be expanded from 32 to 48 countries, meaning that it will involve about a quarter of all Fifa nations.

Putting Fifa's failure in context

Gerard Clarke has an interesting article in a recent issue of the Journal of Civil Society in which he seeks to put Fifa's governance failure in a broader context.

Sponsors could hold key to Fifa crisis

Commercial sponsors could hold the key to the outcome of the crisis at Fifa.   MacDonalds and adidas, two of the headline sponsors for the 2018 World Cup, expressed grave concern at the fresh wave of allegations of systematic corruption within Fifa.

However, the strongest line has taken by Visa.   Any company involved in financial services has a particular interest in not being tainted by allegations of corruption.

In a statement, Visa said: 

Russian World Cup stadium behind schedule

There is nothing unusual in new sports stadiums behind schedule and over budget.   However, the Zenit Arena which is being built in St. Petersburg for the 2018 World Cup in Russia appears to be in a class of its own.  It is seven years behind schedule and the cost is likely to be at least €1bn compared with an original estimate of €190m.

Russian World Cup stadium behind schedule

There is nothing unusual in new sports stadiums behind schedule and over budget.   However, the Zenit Arena which is being built for the 2018 World Cup in Russia appears to be in a class of its own.  It is seven years behind schedule and the cost is likely to be at least €1bn compared with an original estimate of €190m.

Blatter to stand again

It's no great surprise to hear that Sepp Blatter is to stand again as President of Fifa.  Nevertheless, football fans broke open the champagne  and danced in the streets as they heard that their hero would be continuing his blend of high quality decision-making with being a scourge against corruption in the world governing body.   Without Blatter we may never have got the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!

Football economy in China

A couple of weeks ago I was in Beijing. Although growth may have slowed somewhat, and there are some problems in the financial system, not least in terms of local government debt, it remains a vibrant and dynamic economy. Indeed, if you take away the language and the cuisine, Beijing could be a large American city.

We therefore welcome this contributed article by Thibaud Andre.

World Cup viewing records in US

The World Cup has set new viewing records in the United States both for television and for live streaming through smartphones, tablets and consumers.   With most matches being shown in business hours, Americans have been turning to their devices to keep up.

The USA's match with Belgiym arrived a 9.6 overnight rating with ESPN, the highest for any World Cup match the network has broadcast.   There has been a 50 per cent surge in live streaming compared with the previous record, set during the 2012 London Olympics.

Ambush marketing at the World Cup

In some ways the biggest commercial winners from the World Cup may be those brands that are not official sponsors. Fifa partners were wrong footed by widespread protests over the cost of staging the competition in Brazil, although these died away once the competition started and Brazil progressed. However, it is difficult to stage and manage campaigns in countries experiencing deep social tensions and transformations.

Don't sack the manager after World Cup exit

The contract of Greece's manager ran out after yesterday's defeat to Costa Rica, but he came within a penalty shoot out of getting an extension.   Managers whose teams take a relatively early exit often then fall on their sword, but is this a good idea?