December 2, 2010

Money Talks

With the results in, it looks like my prognostication sadly didn't come true. Lets take a look at the voting rounds and see how it went down.
2018 Tournament
First Round
England, 2 votes,
Belgium-Netherlands, 4
Spain-Portugal, 7
Russia, 9
(England eliminated)
Probably the biggest shock in this round is England's elimination, especially after so many FIFA officials called an England World cup a 'dream'

Second Round
Belgium-Netherlands, 2
Spain-Portugal, 7
Russia, 13
(Russia wins with an absolute majority)

2022 Tournament
Australia, 1
Japan, 3
United States, 3
South Korea, 4
Qatar, 11
(Australia eliminated)

Second Round
Japan, 2
South Korea, 5
United States, 5
Qatar 10
(Japan eliminated)

Third Round
South Korea, 5
United States, 6
Qatar, 11
(South Korea eliminated)

Fourth Round
United States, 8
Qatar, 14
(Qatar wins with an absolute majority)

Here's a few thoughts of mine. Personally, I think it's a farce that South Korea and Japan both got as many votes as they did, considering that they hosted the World Cup together in the past decade, which is against FIFA's new non-rotational policy (and lets not mince words, they changed that rule to bring the competition in Europe more often).

What factors might we consider in the selection:
1. TV: the FIFA World Cup is one of the most watched events in the world. FIFA, being a euro-centric organization, would certainly like to be able to se the games at a reasonable hour of the day, and by hosting both World Cups just East of Europe major, outside of Russia and the Middle East, viewers in Europe will have the least amount of adjustments to their viewing schedule. Get ready for games between 4am-11am throughout the entire tournament America.

2. Politics: If we look at the voting, it was obvious after round 1 that nobody in FIFA, aside from American Chuck Blazer, wast going to vote USA, despite already having every stadium built and 12 years to upgrade existing infrastructure (the largest network in the damn WORLD) and build up our rail capacity, an achievable goal in that amount of time. Forget the 110 degree heat beating down on players for 90 minutes, forget a potential water crisis, forget that most of the stadiums have yet to be built, just remember who paid for those lovely gift bags and all inclusive vacation resort deals. I hope that NOBODY trusts FIFA, because after the way the FIFA officials handled the USA in the last two world cups, I haven't for some time.

3. MONEY: The former English Vice president of FIFA had to recently step down after making allegations of corruption in FIFA. How much corruption? Ask Sepp Blatter and you'll get a chuckle that says "you'll never prove anything". I'm sick to death of these upper eschelon ass hats who never kicked a ball in competition raking in money hand over fist and acting like they're as clean as freshly fallen snow. Curse you FIFA, you've raped the world's favorite games with your illogical rules and regulations and acted like the world asked you to do it.

December 1, 2010

The Eve of the vote: my 2018 & 2022 World Cup selections

So with the selection of the World Cup hosts for the years 2018 and 2022 coming up, I figured I would give my best shot at figuring out who it will be. The best way to do that is by analyzing the structure of the vote; a secret ballot taken after all the bids have made their proposals in Zurich, the results of which will be released on Thursday. But the process starts well before that:
First, bidding countries' delegations submit to a contractual agreement that outlines what is expected of a strong bid. Second, Inspectors from FIFA tour the various countries to determine if the countries meet the requirements of hosting the World Cup. Then, finally, we get to this point today when the FIFA Executive Committee votes based on the final presentations of the respective delegations.

We can use these three factors and apply it to the committee itself. There is a bit of speculation that with both World Cup votes taking place on the same ballot, that vote trading could be taking place amongst the committee, but we won't really know for sure even after the vote comes out. I made my predictions based on the strengths and weaknesses of each bid, go down the list of committee members one by one and tally up my guess as to who they would vote for based on potential political or geographical interplay. you can find out more information on the FIFA Executive Committee by following the link

Name                                 Nationality                  2018                        2022
Sepp Blatter                      Switzerland                  England                    Australia
President of FIFA, against games at altitude, disfavors goal line technology, apologized to Mexico and England for mistakes in officiating at the World Cup in South Africa (the USA didnt get quite as much sympathy after the Slovenia game). Being president of FIFA means you hold some influence, which countries try to buy by awarding him various national honours, which you can see here.
Name                                 Nationality                  2018                        2022
Julio Grondona                      Argentina             Spain/Portugal                USA
Senior Vice-President
Name                                 Nationality                  2018                        2022
Issa Hayatou                         Cameroon                 Russia                     Qatar
Chung Moon Jong               South Korea               England                South Korea
Jack Warner                  Trinidad and Tobago    Spain/Portugal              USA
Angel Maria Villar                   Spain                  Spain/Portugal              USA 
Michel Platini                          France                 Spain/Portugal             Australia
Reynald Temari                        Tahiti                    England                     Australia
Geoff Thompson                     England                  England                    Australia
Name                                 Nationality                  2018                        2022
Members of the Committee
Franz Beckenbauer                 Germany                England                      USA
Michel D'Hooghe                     Belgium        Netherlands/Belgium           Japan
Ricardo Terra Teixera                Brazil               Spain/Portugal               USA
Mohammed Bin Mammam         Qatar                  Russia                       Qatar
Senes Erzik                                Turkey              England                       Qatar
Chuck Blazer                              USA              Spain/Portugal               USA
Nicolas Leoz                            Paraguay          Spain/Portugal               USA
Worawi Makudi                       Thailand               Russia                      Australia
Junji Ogura                                Japan           Netherlands/Belgium         Japan
Amos Adamu                            Nigeria                England                      USA
Marios Lefkaritis                       Cyprus                England                      Qatar
Jacques Anouma                       Ivory Coast         England                    Australia
Rafael Salguero                        Guatemala         Spain/Portugal               USA
Hany Abo Rida                         Egypt                    England                    Qatar
Vitaly Mutko                            Russia                    Russia                      Qatar
Name                                 Nationality                  2018                        2022
Jerome Valcke                          France                 England                    Australia
General Secretary

My speculative results:
2018: England: 10, Spain/Portugal: 8, Russia: 4, Netherlands/Belgium: 2
2022: USA: 9, Qatar: 6, Australia: 6, Japan: 2, South Korea: 1

We'll see how it turns out