Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Why Can't A Soccer World Cup Be Held Twice In A Row In The Same Country?

Where is the common sense?

Every four years, a country rejoices and starts building like mad to entertain soccer enthusiasts for a mere four weeks. Of course it is a tremendous advertising affair for the host country and some will make oodles of money although it seems that the main " oodler " of money still is FIFA.

The 2010 World cup was a success for South Africa on the one hand but what about now, with unused stadia and debt still being paid off? The average man in the street is still waiting for the proverbial gold raining down upon the FIFA chosen country! Or in other words, they are waiting for the amenities that were promised to them for relocating ( a BBC report ).

Gosh, I can still remember someone telling me, that in Pietermaritzburg ( which was not a venue but an hour away from the Moses Madiba stadium ) where she had a small B&B, she had to agree to up her prices by about a third and also to hand over money to FIFA for every client had during the world cup period, or she wouldn't be put on the official list of accommodations...even if it was an urban myth, a bit of truth still remains. Even domestic airlines upped their prices!

Not many countries have made a pure profit from one of these major sporting affairs and even the Olympics is questionable. We all know that at the moment, Greece is in financial turmoil. Greece has hosted a recent Olympics and why can't they be chosen to hold a few choice tournaments right now? One way to help financially.

When you start to look at the impact a World cup has on the environment ( interesting article in Scientific America ), we should really demand that any venue gets used a few times in a row despite all the promises that all building of stadia is environmentally friendly.

At the end of the day, white elephants are built ( eg in Cape Town, Nelspruit and shockingly in Manaus, a town located deep in the Amazon. There are reports that the latter stadium will be used as a detention area to help with already over crowded prisons ) that are only used for 4 weeks. Again, 4 weeks only!

Wasting resources and money, when so many are going without is not a nice thing to do...and that is why I am wondering,

why we can't reuse stadia a few times at least?

Yes, even writing this, I know it sounds naive given how intricate and bundled up the money making FIFA machine is, but yesterday I heard a former Finance Minister say that at the end of the day,

it all boils down to what his mum taught him...don't spend more than you have!
Often we do make things so complicated that a humble teaching from long ago does make more sense. Why should we build more, when we have so much standing idle and empty?