That money has a huge effect on sport is no longer arguable and even small nations like Denmark are beginning to see it have a negative impact on the game they love
If you were having any problem understanding that FIFA is rife with corruption and has a fixation on not football but money, this week should have laid aside those doubts aside. The announcement that Qatar would be unable to host the world cup in the summer of 2022 because of the temperatures being treated by the FIFA taskforce as an unfortunate circumstance no one could have foresaw…..despite everyone telling them well in advance.
Is Money The Root Of All Football?
• Qatar World Cup to be held in winter
• Clubs, leagues and cups all object
• FIFA refuses compensation payments
Apparently when Sepp Blatter was being paid off to rally support behind Qatar he quite forgot that people actually play football and that it’s not really all about columns of numbers in his Swiss bank account. Not that he really cares, all he wants is Qatar (and the rest of the middle east) to support him when his re-election comes round, so the very real and inherent problems in the staging of the competition in a desert country didn’t even occur to him.
Of course the Qatari’s promised all sorts of hi-tech cooling solutions but in the end, apparently, even FIFA didn’t believe them, so have announced the 2022 world cup will have to take place in November and December instead of on the more traditional summertime schedule that we have come to know and love. This, as you might imagine, has sent the footballing world into a mixture of chaos and terror with objections coming thick and fast as the implications of the rescheduling sank in.
We’ll leave aside that it’ll clash with the Winter Olympics, and indeed that it will cause problems for the Africa Cup will too be set on the back burner for now, because the biggest and loudest fuss being made about this ridiculous piece of FIFA stupidity is coming from Europe where leagues and cup competitions are left in tatters, television schedules are ruined and sponsorship deals worth billions are now under threat. To say the Europeans are angry is an understatement.
Five Billion Reasons To Be Angry
The English Premier League recently sold its television rights for the next few years……they sold them for over five billion. That’s a lot of money, and the people who spent that money are unlikely to be very happy that at least one of those seasons will be decimated by a competition to which they’ll have to buy a completely different set of rights. A summertime world cup is an addition to the sports calendar, a winter world cup merely a disruption to it.
Naturally the clubs, leagues and cups who are set to lose out instantly demanded compensation for being messed about in this flagrant manner, a demand to which FIFA, for whom greed is an instinct, almost as instantly said “No”. There would be no compensation and any difficulties that might arise for European football would easily be ironed out over the next seven years. That the issues shouldn’t have arisen in the first place seemingly escaping them entirely.
Of course of late FIFA have been gambling news stories and objections to their actions can be batted aside by Sepp Blatter accusing Europe of being racist. He claimed this of crowd-trouble coverage at the Africa Cup, and has spent a lot of time campaigning for his continued presidency by traveling the world convincing small nations that the more traditional centers of football are racist against them and that he’s their only friend in the world. It has been disgusting to watch.
Certainly some people have commented that if the summertime schedule were set in stone there would never be a chance for certain nations with a great interest in football to stage a world cup, and that in the case of the middle east a competition could only ever be held in the winter months. This much is entirely true, but then why did the Qataris claim to be able to do it in the summer then, and would nations have voted differently if this winter tournament fact been available at the time?
Danish Players Despair At Bonus Decline
Doubtless the 2022 World Cup will go ahead, and will be a success, and the rest of the world will rejigger itself around the new dates with a few grumbles and even the Africa Cup being shunting into the summer from its winter slot won’t be an insurmountable problem, however, this does all highlight the degree to which money has become all important in the game, and those of you that like to bet on sports in Denmark will be even more painfully aware of this right now.
It would be understandable if punters were reticent about backing their national team on Come On! Sportsbook and the like given much of their national team is up in arms about the amount of money they’d get as a bonus for playing for their country. The DBU has been negotiating with players on the subject but talks broke down when the DBU admitted that due to poor fiscal results in the last few years players would have to take a 17% cut in the bonus they got for playing for Denmark.
Perhaps thinking they are like the top young NBA players the Danish stars union, Spillerforeningen, has even threatened it’s members may not play for their country simply because they won’t be getting as much money as previously. This is why the DBU circumvented the union and wrote to players individually asking about their availability. Will the stars play for the honor and not the cash? I personally wouldn’t like to wager either way, after all, Qatar got the world cup, honor in football seems in short supply.
Meanwhile fans are left wondering what all this means for them, being Danish gambling laws of human greed will be overcome by a sense of national pride might be no bad thing right now, it’ll be interesting to see which way the players jump, but with FIFA still in charge of world football who knows what challenges will face the smaller footballing leagues in an organization that has long since decided to ignore their problems, not listen to their objections and ram whatever self-serving, self-interested and self-aggrandizing decision Sepp Blatter makes down their throats.