Friday, 3 December 2010

Their Cup Runneth Over

TOKYO. President Putin on a tatami at the Kodo...
President Putin working out
We all knew that Australia's bid to host a future World Cup was doomed when they trotted out a severely plasticised Crocodile Dundee as part of their promotion. Most people could understand Elle McPherson's presence but a botoxed Paul Hogan was a step too far.

By comparison, the 'Alpha Male' remained in his Moscow lair, secure in the knowledge that Russia had its bid in the bag.

There was no need for Mr Putin to follow the steady stream of ex-Presidents, Prime Ministers and nuptial-contemplating Royals to FIFA's European headquarters.

Money talks when it comes to football's governing board and little else matters. Recent corruption allegations should have reinforced this understanding and people delude themselves if they think otherwise.

It is not just football; witness the recent debacle of the Commonwealth Games in India.

The reality of all of these global sporting events is that it is a select number of multi-nationals who make money out of them and these corporations and individuals are not really worried where an event is staged.

Sure, there is political kudos for those who win the right to stage a world sporting event but the real financial returns are few and far between, if at all.

It is highly debatable that the common man reaps any economic benefit at all from global events being staged in their country.

Usually there is a huge PR spin during the bidding process to sell the idea to the country and an equal amount of professional justification to cover up the real financial numbers at an event's conclusion.

Those countries such as China and Russia who can marshall the resources of a nation with little fear of a public backlash, will continue to stage "successful" sporting events.
Others should count themsleves lucky that, in these times of economic uncertainty, their bids for the FIFA world cup hosting were unsuccessful.

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