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  • Arnav Jain

How FIFA affects the world


FIFA is the largest organization that administers soccer around the world. The monopoly is merely involved in every professional event related to soccer. While it does have a big name in the soccer industry, it does conduct sneaky practices to help maximize the amount of money it is making. For instance, in the 2002 world cup, there is a claim that FIFA needed South Korea to win the game against Italy to maintain the interest of many South Koreans fans in the world cup as that would have helped FIFA make more profits at the end of the world cup. Although it is hard to judge the truth of the claim, the calls made in the game against Italy do seem a little too harsh.

While FIFA is mainly responsible for taking care of soccer affiliated policies, it does have a significant impact on international relations. For instance, the US had placed many allegations on the FIFA president and officials for many corrupt offenses such as tax evasion and money laundering. Although there was major support for the allegations placed by the US on FIFA, Russia strongly opposed the prosecution because it could potentially lose the nation the opportunity to host the world cup in 2018 which would bring billions of dollars into the Russian economy. Therefore, we can see how FIFA had increased the tensions between the US and Russia which could have had devastating consequences. This conflict occurred because it was all about where the money was supposed to go but what many do not realize is the effectiveness of the business model that FIFA has.

Many countries, especially poor countries believe that hosting a world will boost their economy significantly as it would bring in millions of jobs and a lot of revenue from the influx of fans from all over the world. In the world cup in 2014, Brazil was able to create 14 million jobs and made a lot of money from tourists coming to this country from all over the world. However, many people fail to look at the other side of the coin. Wouldn’t these jobs created by hosting the world cup be temporary? Wouldn’t the jobs be pulling people out of jobs that they are currently in, thus keeping unemployment levels about the same? Would the economic benefits gained from hosting the world cup outweigh the costs? These are questions that many fail to answer before agreeing to host a world cup. The truth is that the world cup only brings in a huge amount of revenue but it does not make the country rich because the costs outweigh the economic benefits. The costs for building things like the stadium are extremely high and that infrastructure eventually becomes useless for money after the world cup. Countries like South Africa or Brazil that hosted the world cup did not become rich as a result of hosting the world cup because the costs were way too high. However, FIFA does make a lot of revenue and profits from hosting the world cup because the way their business model is structured makes them pay little to no cost. For a world cup, FIFA has minor costs such as paying for the tickets of referees but they make huge amounts of money through TV rights and sponsors.

While countries do not receive economic benefits from hosting a world cup, it could make the host nation a lot happier because there are people coming from all around the world as interactions are increased and unification brought through soccer becomes stronger. In fact, studies have shown that many people from the host nation do not lose heart if their country is not able to qualify for later rounds but instead stay happy due to the fact that their nation is hosting a world cup. There could be an argument made that the costs of hosting a world cup are worth the effort to increase the overall happiness of people within a nation. However, speaking from a rational perspective, wealthier nations should host a world cup because they could afford the costs of a world cup and increase the overall happiness of people while poorer nations should focus their efforts towards finding more ways to boost their economies and increase the overall happiness of their population.

While FIFA is a major contributor to helping conduct soccer matches and tournaments all around the world, it is a monopoly that seeks to maximize its profits at the end of the day. From an ethical standpoint, the organization could be challenged in multiple ways but at the same time, the amount of work the organization has done is commendable. There should be ways devised in the future to help nations conduct more successful world cups from an economic standpoint, but till then, nations will have to continue to step in and take a financial burden to host a tournament that everyone cherishes around the globe.

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