The FIFA World Cup is a mess.
A large, sparkling, popular mess that is very lucrative for some, that leaves a huge mess in its wake for many involved. More or less can be said about the Olympics, but I shall focus on the football or soccer World Cup Tournament
Why not set it on continents, or at least continental regions and rotate it on a known and agreed upon schedule? I can not think of valid arguments for a continuation of the absurd bidding process and current area limitations in a world with technological advances in how people watch and attend sporting events
My proposal is to have a group of nations hold the different legs. No need to have multiple stadiums in countries that can not use or maintain them after. One major world-class stadium per country, especially in the developing ones would be much easier to maintain and use after and between tournaments. Depending on the usage of the stadium they can be up for renewal, refurbishment or building of a second stadium.
Countries in the continents can bid for what rounds or stages they have, as in for the qualifying group stages, then the Knockout rounds of 16, 8, 4 and the final. Or have a set number of countries hold group stage matches, and depending on how well they handle those they get to be selected for the different knockout stages. Add some ongoing competition within the competition itself.
I get that some of this is that people travel to the location and watch the entire cup but those that can likely would also be able to country hop. As for the people that wait for the group stage to be complete to see if their team will compete, I am sure travel agents and airlines can figure out some workable system on how to accommodate that need. Like a down payment for a possible ticket to x country for x round but if your team does not make it you can either sell the ticket to someone else, or get some sort of credit to be used on a flight in the next 4 years.
Here is another option. I am not against hosting it in locations that already have an established league, stadia and infrastructure. Possibly creating discounted tickets and accommodation from participating nations and an added number per continent, or whatever predetermined geographical regions. Can select people through a lottery and have others on sale.
It is the worlds sport. Played and loved by many. Here is hoping something changes so it does not continue to be a flurry of frantic effort for a momentary spike of joy followed by a blight on the people that host it.
- Brazil has political issues in and of itself, but they are in general not anti-football. If they can’t find uses for football stadia it should no longer be surprising that these venues fall into disuse and disrepair.