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Why the US should host the World Cup in 2014

OK, I know the tournament has been award to Brazil, and if they made their decisions based on qualify of play then nobody would doubt them.  However given this weeks announcement by FIFA that Brazil is far behind:

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was fiercely critical of Brazil's World Cup preparations on Monday, saying he has received a report on the 2014 hosts' stadium construction and it is "not very nice."

FIFA has selected 12 Brazilian cities to hold games at the next World Cup, but Valcke says the sole candidate country for 2014 was already falling behind deadline


We know that the last couple years have been tough on economies around the globe and Brazil is no different, and like South Africa which will spend billions in hope of finding a way to long term make a profit, they will fail and money that should have been spend to create long term jobs, schools, hospitals, and things to improve the overall standard of living will be long gone.

"The building and future maintenance of stadia in various cities (Durban and Port Elizabeth in particular) are likely to impact on their respective municipalities' capacity to prioritise pro-poor spending and deliver services and infrastructure. In addition, the longer-term financial viability of several stadia remains questionable.

I love that FIFA is trying to allow all the nations of the world take part in hosting the games, but anyone who thinks putting on these spectacular events is profitable isn't paying close attention.  Host countries and cities do get a huge boost from PR that will sometimes create tourism revenue in the future, but that is far from a guarantee. 

More after the jump:


So if FIFA really wants to do the sport justice, then use nations that don't have to spend billions on new stadiums and leverage what already exists.  This was done in Germany, could easily be done in the US, UK, and many other nations.  One only has to look at the ticket sales for the 2010 World Cup:

Briefing MPs, Local Organising Committee CFO Farouk Seedat said 107 576 tickets for the event had been sold to the general public in the United States. The second-highest number of sales was in the United Kingdom (63 835) followed by Germany (29 733) and Australia (26 488).

By comparison, public ticket sales in South Africa's "top two" neighbouring countries, Mozambique and Botswana, were 1 474 and 1 257 respectively



It is clear that despite having little shot at winning the World Cup, we didn't even make it out of our group 4 years ago that in the United States there is both the desire and the means to support the World Cup.

Now I know that there are many out there (including one of my fellow SB Nation bloggers) who isn't worried and points to all the chaos that everyone thought about South Africa and how things now seem to be right on track.  He has a point about how many in the "West" want things done months, years in advance for events like this, while some other cultures are fine wrapping up the details a couple weeks before.  He is right, very right.

I do however think that the issues of social responsibility of nations spending money that many don't have on events like the Olympics, the World Cup, and other huge events is a very risky thing.  One has to ask could the money be better spent?  Wouldn't it seem to be the "responsible" thing do to in a world that has some serious economic issues to not impose this type of spending and often debt on others when there are nations who can host the World Cup without impacting national debt levels?

I think so, I think that the prestige factor is one thing, and in good times (like when the South Africa decision was made) if a nation wants to take that risk, then it should be considered but when we see Brazil asking the IMF for funds anytime in the next few years, as they continue to ask for aid money from "the West" and the UN, one has to really question if hosting the World Cup was the best thing for the people of Brazil.  I don't believe so, I believe that moving the 2014 World Cup makes sense and is something that should be considered.