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27 June 2010

The Mick and Limey Show Returns to discuss taxes and future World Cups

So my good buddy, Limey, and I have had a discussion over the past few days about FIFA taxes and the World Cup. What spawned this discussion was an article on BBC about the taxes FIFA pays (or does not pay.) With his permission, I am posting our edited comments.

Dear Mick, While I've loved the world cup since I was a little kid but after reading the attached article I am reminded that ignorance is not always bliss. It's about some of the hidden costs of hosting a world cup. Let me know if you think you find it an interesting read or not.

Dear Limey, That is really interesting. I did not know any of that. It is kind of sickening in a way, especially in South Africa. Collecting tax revenue would be a great way to stage World Cups in smaller poorer countries. Thus, it irritates me though I am not sure how much money in South Africa is lost by this since a lot of the sales are going to be in the informal sector anyway and hotels and restaurants are already taxed via VAT.

However, here is where it really irritates and annoys me. Sepp Blatter is a lying if the US doesn't get the World Cup 2018. Now before you dismiss this, follow my logic. According to FIFA policy, there is supposed to be a continental rotation of the World Cup. In 2018, it is the turn of CONCACAF. The US, like Brazil in 2014, is the only federation bidding. That did not stop Brazil from procuring it becuase it was going to CONMEBOL anyway. However, now they are supposedly opening up 2018 to European bids (four of them.) I am not saying that the USA has to have the World Cup again, though it still stands as the World Cup with the highest attendance despite having 8 fewer teams than the current allotment of 32 (and thus fewer matches.) What I am saying is that is should go to CONCACAF...period. I would love to see Mexico, Canada, or a confederation of say 8-10 Carribbean Islands bid. It would be a bonanza. Can you imagine? Matches in Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, etc? Have those teams qualify regularly through the process so obviously not all would make it, but then allow the non-qualifiers to play a tournament for the one host country automatic bid. These islands have the tourism infratstructure to hold the people and by upgrading the stadia, it could work. Why not have a truly Central American World Cup by having a joint Costa Rica/Panama bid. Simple. Because of this stupid greed, the small countries cannot afford it. FIFA is backwards. If the game is going to truly help the world, this tax policy has to go. South Africa made it over the line to host this because they could afford to...barely. Other countries that might be very suitable (Costa Rica and Panama would be amazing as would the islands)...will not be able to do so and that stinks. What do you think?

Dear Mick, I am pretty much in agreement with you although and there is always a but... given the cost of new stadiums there is little chance of the Caribbean or Central American nations hosting the world cup with it being a joint bid. That leaves it to being a North American affair with only Mexico and the US standing a real chance to host the event as attested by the US bid to host the 2018 World Cup. In my heart I would love to see some sort of joint bid within CONCACAF but as that is not likely to happen and I believe hosting the world cup means more to the people here in Europe, especially in the UK, than it would for the average Joe in the US I'm pretty much backing the UK bid. If you ask the average Brit would they trade the Olympics for the world cup the answer would be "Hell YES!"

What really gets my goat is this rumor that FIFA is discouraging joint bids. Without joint bits moving forward how will smaller countries ever be able host a World cup due to the prohibitive cost? The last time a small to midsized nation hosted the WC was back in 1978 Argentina and that was with 16 teams; since the larger format no country with less than approx. 40 million has hosted it. Shoot the last joint bid, which was bad mouthed by the way, had a combined population of 175 million people and were both developed nations (South Korea and Japan 2002). It is bad enough the fact that the last time a small nation won the world cup was back in 1950 Uruguay and the only country with a population of or about 20 million to win was Argentina. Let's face it, the odds are heavily against small nations on the pitch ever winning and now FIFA wants to make it virtually impossible for them to host it. The FIFA World Cup is starting to look more and more like the UN security counsel than the General Counsel in terms of winning and hosting. If not for the qualifying rounds they should not even use the title "World Cup" maybe they should just call it the FIFA CUP.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do CONCACAF and CONMEBOL stand for?Confederation...?