Archive for category FIFA World Cup

Will Clinton Give More Than a Name to the US World Cup Bid?

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been named honorary chairman of the U.S. bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The question is; can a political, and more than likely part-time, figure like Clinton compare with a passionate and committed figure like David Beckham for England’s bid?

President Clinton

An active Clinton could make the difference for the US World Cup bid

Clinton’s reasons for entering the fold are obvious, especially after he stated the following, “That means that if we get the (World Cup) there will be an economic stimulus estimated between $400-$600 million per host city. That will be very good for a lot of families that are still hurting, a lot of communities that are still digging out from under the current economic crisis.”

A former President really has only one thing on their mind once they leave office and that is to cement their legacy. Helping to improve the economy by bringing what may be the world’s greatest event to American soil, could only help him in that effort.

In order to get this bid through, will he do for the US what a passionate soccer legend like David Beckham will do for England? President Clinton is obviously a very influential figure and there is no doubt that he could have a major influence on what happens with this bid, just adding his name to it helps. But what if he was more than just an honorary figure? What if he scratched out just a few visits to some key decision makers and a press conference here or there? He could absolutely make a huge difference.

The two biggest arguments against the United States having a world cup are first; that the country doesn’t need it. It’s true that the United States is in a recession, but the country is still considered to be in comparatively good shape by the rest of the world. The second argument is that the US hosted a world cup only 16 years ago. When the US hosted the 1994 World Cup, the country was still a fairly virgin territory in regards to soccer. Sure, kids played in the leagues across the land and Pele and Beckenbauer stopped by in their twilight years, but at the time there was no pro league and it was predominantly considered a kid’s sport. The World Cup went a long way toward changing that and it has resulted in a boom of excitement in regards to soccer in the United States. The other potential host countries will point that out and say that the US is not in need of another World Cup so soon.

BECKENBAUER-PELE-CHINAGLIA

The First shot at a North American Pro League starred Beckenbauer, Pele and Chinaglia.

So the US needs the help of a heavy hitter like Clinton, but they need more than his name. They need his charm, his effort and his action. With a suave and charismatic speaker like Clinton reminding key decision makers, in person, of the financial boom that soccer saw internationally after the US World Cup in 1994, the United States has not only a better shot at securing the tournament, but quite possibly a game winning shot. But will the former President give the time?

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Australian World Cup Soccer Bid Gets Complicated

Posted by Noel on Wednesday, 16 December, 2009
Bresicano and Cahill

by viduka

With the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups well under way, the country of Australia considers itself to be a major candidate and worthy option for the world’s greatest soccer event. In 2018 the country has a very slim chance, as European powers such as England, Russia, Belgium & The Netherlands (combined bid) and Spain & Portugal (combined bid) are all eligible to receive that bid. But in 2022, the country has a fair shot. European teams would be ineligible (should one receive the 2018 bid) leaving Australia’s competition for that bid as the United States, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Indonesia.

Australia may turn out to be a good choice for FIFA as the country is a major tourist destination and is located in an area that has never hosted World Cup Play before. Additionally, the country is notoriously fond of athletics, has a sound economy but has not, as of yet, seriously embraced soccer. A bid for the country should ignite and excite a “virgin” population of over 20 million people to buy into the sport and further its growth.

But despite all of this positive news, Australia has one teeny tiny complication. The World Cup falls smack dab in the middle of the Australian Rules Football (AFL) season. Aussie Rules Football, or “Footy” is an extremely popular sport down under and while the AFL has shown complete support for the country’s bid, FIFA is requiring that no other major sports leagues play at the same time as the World Cup Finals, which does not suit the AFL whatsoever. So Australia is trying to get an exemption from FIFA, believing that precedents exist that would allow other competitions to continue (i.e. Major League Baseball continuing play during the 1994 World Cup in the United States). Along with the proposed exemption would be a an entire relocation plan that would move AFL, Rugby and Cricket games to different locations during World Cup play so as not to compete.

aussie rules action at the g

by doublebug

Whether or not FIFA would allow such an exemption in a market as small and competitive as Australia we have yet to see, but one thing is for sure, this is one commited country. I can already see the laughter that would burst out if the United States Soccer Federation asked Jerry Jones to move the Cowboys out of Dallas for a month while soccer players take over Cowboys Stadium.

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Will Soccer Ever See Instant Replay?

Posted by Noel on Saturday, 12 December, 2009
by stella_gonzales2003
by stella_gonzales2003

Instant replay has become a hot topic of conversation lately thanks to a controversial soccer goal scored by France’s William Gallas after Thierry Henry had an obvious handball that set it up. Because of that goal, France is going to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Ireland has been eliminated. Apart from an unofficial, nationwide ban on French wine (not too difficult for the locals provided that the whiskey tap keeps pouring), this controversy does beg the question, should FIFA take a look at Instant replay?

Thierry Henry Handball Video

The replay naysayers in soccer are the same as the naysayers in Baseball, they talk of the game’s history and not wanting to slow the sport down for five minutes at a time with reviews (as seen in American Football). But the proponents of the idea point out that this is not medieval football, it’s the twenty-first century and we have the technology to correct these mistakes.

Diego Maradona Hand of God Video

It is an interesting question though and worthy of review, not just for the regular soccer powerhouses like England who were defeated by the Maradona “hand of god” goal, but for the fans of US Soccer as well who were robbed of an opportunity to see a Semi-Final berth in World Cup 2002 when a German defender used his hand to save a goal.

US – Germany World Cup 2002 Quarterfinal Handball Video (Handball Footage at 2:11)

For now, FIFA is resisting the idea but don;t forget that the big three sports leagues in the United States, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, also initially resisted the idea. Will it happen? Who knows, should it happen? Well, there are some people in Ireland who certainly think so.

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