Controversial Countries Win World Cup Bids
The United States is up in arms about losing their second straight bid to host the World Cup. Russia and Qatar, who nabbed the 2018 and 2022 bids, respectively, are controversial for distance, temperature, and inadequate facilities, say some critics. However, I think that the US has to give the federation a break. For one, the reasoning behind the United States’ annoyance is the desire to ‘increase the following and popularity of soccer in the United States’. That’s crap….the United States needs to be up front: They want it for the money and the ratings. The last World Cup the US hosted was arguably one of the most successful. With 3.6 million in attendance, it is still the record holder. The ticket forecasts were close to 5 million, and the United States saw the potential for the revenue that another World Cup would generate.
On another note, Russia and Qatar deserve this just as much. Russia is still trying to regenerate itself and prove worthy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The amount of building and renovations in transportation involved would not only vastly improve the country, but it would create jobs and generate income: all of which Russia is in dire need for. Also, the World Cup itself will bring attention to Russia, tourism and attendance giving Russia the chance to create a new national identity, separate from the remnants of Stalin’s Russia that still linger to this day. Qatar is small, and it will put the Middle East on the map for something aside from wars or hardship, which is what the area is most known for. The reasons above, for the most part, also apply to this small Middle Eastern nation, as it begins the journey of hosting the culmination of four years of hard work in the world’s most beautiful game.
For these reasons, I feel that the United States is being both Greedy and ridiculous; The last World Cup the US hosted did not increase overall interest in soccer, and it’s estimated that millions of Americans will tune in- networks will get the ratings they want and money will still be made.
So please, America; get off your high horse, there are places out there with more economic issues than yourself, and hosting the World Cup won’t make kids want to play more soccer after the fact than the last time you hosted. Give someone else a chance to do some good in their country- you’ve had yours.