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viernes, 3 de diciembre de 2010

Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, a turn of the FIFA towards new markets (Yahoo)

From Zurich

When half an hour before the official decision of the FIFA was known there was known a version in the Russian newspaper Izvestia, through which their country would win the head quarter in 2018 because in case of a tie, FIFA’s president, himself, Joseph Blatter would untie in their favour, there were not many who took it with incredibility. The doubt scarcely passed through a strange fact of goings and comings of their ex president, Prime Minister and a strong man in the local politics, Vladimir Putin, who in first place was coming to the meeting then he communicated that he would not, what meant that for some reason there appeared someone dissatisfied and so, a lost of chances. But to general surprise, not only Russia imposed two giants that in the beginning seemed to compete in loneliness to stay with the World Championship, England and Spain, but they did it in the second round without needing to continue with the elimination process until the final because they already obtained the majority with 13 votes over 22 possible. It is clear that besides some captive suffrages, Russia counted with those of the English that remained outsider and with two of the four initial votes for the candidates of Holland and Belgium, because Spain and Portugal always maintained the seven original votes. Less surprise, generated the designation of Qatar as the head quarters of the World Championship 2022, because the enormous quantity of money invested by this country, adding that the South Korea and Japan, now separately, have already organized together a World Championship in 2002, that is too close, adding that the same occurs with the United States, that did it in 1994 and that Australia has just changed of Continent to pass to that of Asia, determined that the way towards the oil country became clearer, though they had to pass through each of the four rounds until win over the United States in the final by 14-8. Was there anything that weighed in both of the winning candidates as a message of the FIFA? Definitively it was. If there is anything that Russia and Qatar have in common, moreover the power and high influence in the directives that voted (22 of the 24 due to the suspension of two of the members of the executive Committee due to corruption), it is due to the fact that they are two countries that renew the footballistic world chart (no World Championship has been organized in Arabian countries nor in East Europe) and that represent new markets where football may penetrate without doubts in the text time.

The fact that personalities as Josep Guardiola or Sandro Rosell, coach and president of the Barcelona, and Gabriel Batistuta, Argentinean ídol and frequent polo player in that country, had implied so much in this candidacy is all the example of what can happen, though it may generate an immense doubt the promise of the CEO, Hassan Al Tawaddi, that “there will be no discrimination" and the creation of a feminine league in a country that the woman is pushed aside to such a limit that she has to be covered from her head to her toes with a black veil. In Russia, the football evolution is clear in this country and it is enough to see the statistic of the last European cups of teams to understand how the panorama of their technique and the performance of their teams have changed, specially the Zenit, the CSKA and the Spartak, that besides register very good players for their league that is growing in the level. But Russia implied much more than this, with the contribution of all their politic class, but different from Spain and Portugal, that took unreasonably the final exposition of their stars of football as Figo, Eusebio or Casillas, they also put on the table idols as Arshavin (player in the Arsenal), and the magnate Román Abramovich, owner of the Chelsea, as well as the tennis player María Sharapova and the athlete Elena Ysinbayeva. Of course, it is difficult, to determine always exactly the reasons of every vote of each of the members of the Executive Committee of the FIFA and in any case, this requires days and days or reconstruction of the votes, among them, the three South Americans (Julio Grondona for Argentina, Nicolás Leoz for Paraguay and Ricardo Texeira for Brazil), but everything indicates that the movement in general was due to the blocks of countries with commercial and cultural interests in common.

If it is for the presentation of all the candidates on the previous days of the decision (of World Championship 2022) or of the same morning of the decisive day (of the World Championship 2018) it is clear that that in the first four, Qatar showed a major solidity emphasizing the necessity to carry a World Championship to Middle East, to banish the myth of intense heat, with the new climatized stadiums and stressing the legacy with the destruction of some stadiums or to recycle them in other countries that FIFA determines. In change, for the World Championship 2018 there were very good presentations of Holland-Belgium, starting by their glories, the use of the bicycle in a green World Championship, and where neither there was organized a contest of that kind, and in England, since the Premier League, the voice of their national or foreign coaches, and in what moves culturally the country. The inconveniences that appear in Russia are related to the enormous distances between towns, that the system fo transport in trains and buses is far from being good and in many cases, the language, but there is a lot of time and specially a lot of capital to give around the situation. About the stadiums the panorama is very good because many of them count till three superficies in a platform, that go around thus that the grass of the already used is treated by true “doctors” of the matter until they are adapted for their use. The great defeated? For the World Championship 2022, there does not seem many. Perhaps Australia could have been the major alternative but is always in the run for a World Championship when their league is in the most advanced point. For the World Championship 2018, without doubts, England and Spain, with the two most important leagues and an enviable capacity to have tourists and with football tradition, they should wait now, at least, till 2026. Too long to be thought at the time being.

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