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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

World Cup

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What lies behind the Brazil protests

Brazil is a country whose economic growth has not been matched by the development of infrastructure or governance capacity with problems of corruption still rife.   It is also one of the most unequal countries in the world.

This blog post is an excellent in depth look at the sports economics behind the recent protest, drawing extensively on the insights of football economics guru Stefan Szymanski.

Biggest global brands avoid naming rights deals

A number of clubs are in the market for naming rights deals, not least West Ham in relation to the Olympic Stadium. Football takes just under a quarter of a global market worth $750m a year, according to data from Sponsorship Today. Multi-purpose venues, which would include the Olympic Stadium, account for 29 per cent.

The financial cost of failure

A number of controversies have arisen from the last two matches of the English national side. However, there is increasing concern about the possibility that England might have to qualify for Brazil via the play offs.

The Football Association has reached preliminary agreements to stage what should be lucrative friendly internationals against Germany, and Uruguay or Argentina, at Wembley in November. These would have to be called off if England had to go down the play off route.

Why is China a big spender?

China is a major emerging power economically and politically, perhaps destined to be the leading power in the world according to some analysts, although its per capita income is well below that of developed countries. Many people still live in relative poverty, despite the growth of the urban middle class.

Failed World Cup bid cost more than thought

The Football Association's failed bid to stage the World Cup cost £6m more than has been previously thought.   The total cost was £21m, or £10.5m per vote, although the net cost was £14m.   £2.5m came from the public purse in terms of contributions from local authorities who hoped to stage matches in their cities.  Another £4.5m came from sponsors. 

Organised crime and football

Sepp Blatter and Fifa have a mission to develop football in the Global South.   That's fair enough: the international organisation of which I am vice-president has a similar mission in its field of activity.


However, in some countries football faces particular challenges from criminal organisations.  One such country is Colombia where the Fifa under-20 World Cup kicks off on July 29th.  It is the biggest sporting event ever held in the country and 250,000 tickets have been sold.

Winning the war at Fifa

Konstanz, BRD: Now that the dust has settled after last week's events in Zurich, and sitting just a few miles from the Swiss border, it is perhaps a good time to review the way ahead at Fifa from an English perspective.

FA challenge Blatter

The English and Scottish Football Associations are undoubtedly right to call for Fifa's presidential election tomorrow to be postponed but whether they will get anywhere is another matter.  

Blatter stalks out

A badly rattled Sepp Blatter has just stalked out of an extraordinary press conference at Fifa headquarters in Zurich.   This follows a day in which various allegations have been made, not least by the suspended Jack Warner who increasingly looks like an unguided missile that could hit any target.  

Blatter is cleared

Fifa's Ethics Committee has cleared Sepp Blater of turning a blind eye to possible corrupt behaviour within football's world governing body.   However, it has found that two executive committee members, Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner, do have a case to answer and they will be investigated further.  As a consequence, Mohamed bin Hammam has stepped down as an opponent to Sepp Blatter in this week's election of a president.