Friday, November 02, 2007

The envelope please...

In retrospect, the 2011 Women's World Cup being awarded to Germany over Canada seems like an obvious decision. They've just hosted the most successful World Cup ever, and their women's team is the newly crowned world champions. Plus, the tournament has been in Asia and the USA for the past three cycles, so it's probably time to bring it back to Europe.

But it's prompted an awful lot of speculation that it's because FIFA has recognized what a mess the CSA is right now (no CEO, no technical director) and doesn't want to reward them with another big tournament until they get their house in order. It's also been suggested that FIFA isn't happy with the current CSA constitution, which awards votes depending on a province's contribution via player enrolment levies (with a voting cap at 25% per province) rather than giving each province an equal vote. Good luck with that, guys; insert your own Meech Lake joke here.

Oh, and there's also the fact that the U20 tournament this summer reportedly lost almost $2 million. That's outweighed by the economic impact, estimated as having contributed about $114 million to Canada's GDP. And most of the overrun was from unexpected additional costs that should be covered by FIFA. They're probably not thrilled by that either, although it's probably just a drop in the bucket of their annual budget.

So all of that may have played a part in the decision. I suspect the turmoil at the CSA was the biggest factor, although I'm rather more cynical about it; I suspect it was less because the FIFA suits cared about how well organized the bid was and more because they figured a country that couldn't even scrounge up some big names for the announcement wasn't going to be much use if they wanted a favour down the road. (Why yes, I have read Foul! recently, why do you ask?)

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