World Cup Bid Pimping in London

Thursday, October 07, 2010 | View Comments
"The diminutive director of US Soccer does come across as arrogant at times..."

The 2018 and 2022 World Cups are set to be handed out in roughly two months, and the men in charge of hyping their respective nations' worthiness to host one or the other are buzzing around like caffeinated bees. They're desperate to convince the watching football world that they've got it all.

In London at the annual Leaders in Football gathering this week, the bid leaders presented their cases (again). Sunil Gulati was there, impressing at least one observer with his detailed explanation of the United States' unique assets ("...infrastructure in place, massive revenues, amazing stadia and an open and diverse society, Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton."), and taking a shot at Australia, who was notably absent.

The question, then, is if the United States has one less competitor for the 2022 tournament. Rumors are swirling that Australia's bid has gone broke or is facing dissension in its ranks. If the prevailing wisdom in London is that Australia is no longer a contender, then they'll at least suffer from the perception their absence caused. While Australia is a viable and deserving host in many ways, they seem to be dealing with crippling issues withing the FFA and A-League.

While Australia were absent and Gulati was being glib, England's leadership claimed a World Cup there would reap $240 million in profit.

South Korea trumped that figure with a staggering claim that not only would a World Cup there generate $350 million in revenue, they would also create a Global Football Development Fund that would distribute $777 million around the world to the various FIFA confederations (just what we need, something giving Jack a check for $170 million). Oh, and let's not forget that a Korean World Cup, with plans to play some games in North Korea, would significantly aid in relations between the two countries, possibly leading to something like - but not quite - "unification."

I'm waiting for the first bidding nation to promise a cure for cancer or a solution to world hunger. The numbers themselves are mind-boggling; the pledges of philanthropy and political accord are either nobly stated or the worst type of salesmanship. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Back in the realm of the real world, Qatar has another stadium design, and this one is a doozy. A stadium that is an island, an island that is a stadium. Just when you thought climate control and the ability ship stadiums elsewhere after the tournament was over unbelievable, the Qataris drop a bombshell.

How's Jerry World supposed to compete with that?

Qatar's island dream

The longer this process goes on, the more ridiculous it becomes. I'm of the opinion that Gulati should just promise a USA World Cup profit of $600 kajillion and put this thing to bed.
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