Friday, July 19, 2013

Crazy Grandpa still runs world football

Recent noises from Geneva have suggested that world football’s out-of-touch grandpappy, Sepp Blatter, has focused his attention on staging a Winter World Cup in 2022.

In some weird logic puzzle, this makes sense: the tournament will be held in Qatar, which during the summer boasts an average temperature of 38°.  But given most major leagues operate during the northern winter, this change suggests that he hopes to disrupt league football for a period of at least six weeks in order to hold a tournament at the best time for the host nation.  Whether it is the best time for the players and supporters is still debatable.

Let’s forget – which we obviously shouldn’t – the ridiculousness of FIFA awarding the World Cup to a country that boasts an average summer temperature that would boil Satan’s blood.  Let’s instead briefly list the ramifications of interrupting league schedules for six – but, considering preparation, buildup and friendlies, more likely eight – weeks.

-          European seasons starting in early July 2021 and concluding in late June 2022.
-          No rest before season 2022-23, meaning two Eurasia-seasons are damaged by fatigue rather than just one.
-          Lower performance and more injuries as a result of year-round football.
-          League clubs from Australia to Iceland shorn of their stars and left in limbo.
-          Smaller television revenue for leagues the world over (except in the Americas and Russia).
-          Overkill leads to decreased interest in either the World Cup, the interrupted leagues, or both.

The conundrum does come with the happy bonus of getting to watch Michel Platini simultaneously fume but publicly defend the decision because he wants Blatter’s job.

Sepp Blatter and his FIFA Executive brethren selected Qatar for … reasons?  Whatever the rationale for the executive’s collective decision, it becomes more apparent “reasons” were tied to their gratification rather than that of the sport.  Considering the inherent climate (both environmental and cultural) of the host country, Blatter must now change almost the entirety of football to kind of redress his mistake.

No man should have that much power, and especially not a man like Sepp Blatter.

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