Good piece by Adam Shaw in the American Thinker on the developing calamity known as the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Why was it even awarded to a country w/ an infrastructure that can’t support the demands of an event such as the World Cup? Liberalism is why. Africa had never hosted one and the fact that it “felt good” to award an African nation the World Cup are the underlying reasons. So what if they don’t have the infrastructure, or stability, to deal with such an event. Who cares?! As long as it feels good, that’s all that matters.
The same could be said of Barack Hussein Obama’s election as President of the USA. For many it simply “felt good” to vote for him. So what if he had shady friends, an angry preacher, radical ties, and no real experience. So what? What could possibly go wrong?
Only a week into World Cup 2010, the decision to hold the tournament in South Africa appears to be an unmitigated disaster. The blame lies at the feet of liberal elites who have politicized soccer.
Due to its size and worldwide appeal, the selection of the host nation for the FIFA World Cup has to take many factors into account. The host needs to exhibit a nation of stability and safety, a strong soccer record, and a highly developed transport infrastructure, as well as having approximately ten large stadia in order to host the various matches.
It is a tough task that causes even the most developed soccer nations, like England, to doubt their worthiness. Yet there have been exceptions that show that nations that do not meet these criteria can host a World Cup. Mexico hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986, and the USA (then not a strong soccer nation) successfully hosted in 1994 — producing one of the best tournaments in recent years (Diana Ross aside).
Yet the choices were based on reasons to do with soccer. Mexico was chosen due to its position as a key soccer nation, and America was chosen with the knowledge that it had the infrastructure, the enormous stadiums, and the ability to provide atmosphere. But with the ascension of the bizarre Joseph “Sepp” Blatter — a man continually dogged by accusations of mismanagement and corruption — to the Presidency of FIFA in 1998, politics and liberal elitism have taken over the World Cup.
Blatter made no secret that he wanted an African World Cup as soon as possible, irrespective of its ability to host. He worked for an African World Cup in 2006, but when Germany was chosen to host it, a furious Blatter forced through a rule-change for 2010 so that an African nation had to be awarded the 2010 tournament, with no nations outside Africa even allowed to bid.
For fans hoping to attend in 2010, the prospects were grim. The candidates were Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, and — incredibly — Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya. With terrorist hotspot Morocco a close second, it was with some relief that relatively stable South Africa was chosen by the FIFA executives.
Immediately, serious concerns were expressed. Was the country economically stable enough to invest in such a venture? Also, despite apartheid being a thing of the past, the region still has immense political and racial problems that often turn violent, with over fifty homicides a day. Thus, was the nation safe enough for players and fans to travel? Serious questions were raised about whether the creaking South African infrastructure could cope with the tens of thousands of fans traveling between venues, and whether it could build the amount of new stadiums required. In addition, the question was asked why a nation was given the role of hosting the World Cup when its national team had ever qualified for the World Cup only twice and had ever managed to win only one game (the same number as Iran).
Key FIFA officials such as Franz Beckenbauer called for the cup to be moved to Germany, as it was becoming clear that South Africa could not cope with the demands being placed upon it. Yet well-intentioned officials such as Beckenbauer missed the point — the decision to give South Africa the biggest soccer event in the world had nothing to with soccer. It was a political decision, with Blatter thinking in terms of “legacy” and “new frontiers.” Other officials on the side of Blatter started talking about “transnational football communities” and the “remarkable community-building achievements” that such moves would bring.
It became clear that liberal politics were put in front of the interests of the sport, which was confirmed when, after three people were killed in an attack on the Togo national team in Angola in January, Blatter was asked about security concerns for the World Cup. He responded by labeling those with concerns as “colonialists” and anti-African. Now it was racist to have doubts about a weak soccer nation with severe economic and political problems hosting a World Cup.
It was hoped that these concerns would not come to fruition. Unfortunately, the first week of the 2010 World Cup has been a disaster, with some writers already describing the choice of South Africa as host as an example of “the greatest scandal of modern sports events.”