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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


The Numbers That Show The Inequity Of The FIFA 2014 World Cup Draw

Written by on December 3, 2013 | 5 Comments »
Posted in World Cups

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post that highlighted some of the factors that will make next summer’s World Cup Finals unique but unfair.

The chosen format has many of the countries criss-crossing Brazil and having to cope with multiple long distance flights, fluctuating… to read more please click on the link.

5 responses to “The Numbers That Show The Inequity Of The FIFA 2014 World Cup Draw”

  1. napier says:

    Damn Bobby. Good work on this. Annoying to see this when a lot of it could have been avoided by choosing venues in a smaller geographic range.

  2. Astronomer says:

    This is a comment on your Forbes colleague Mike Ozanian’s recent article on the Spanish financial regulators going after Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    Toward the end of the article, he wrote the following:

    “Messi is an icon. He broke the 39-year record for most goals in a European club season in 2012 with 73. He also became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match and is a three-time FIFA Player of the Year. Yet the Spanish authorities had to drag him through the mud for a few million bucks.”

    That is very strange — especially, the LAST sentence in the above quote. In other words, according to Mike Ozanian, if you are a football icon, like Messi, you should be exempt from the tax laws that apply to everyone else !

    Or, put in other words, it is presumably okay for football superstars to break the tax laws of the country in which they are living in just because they happen to be football superstars !

    I find it really surprising that a columnist in a respectable magazine, like Forbes, would make the above point.

  3. Smiley says:

    Astronomer – Do you expect anything different from a blowhard American who thinks football is played with a pigskin everywhere in the world?

    Bobby – Any thoughts on certain managers such as Germany’s Loew opting out of Ballon d’Or vote because FIFA makes public how votes were cast which may trigger hard feeling within national team sides and respective candidates?

  4. Good sense I would say. Managers job is to win games and he should not be doing anything that he thinks might undermine that objective.

  5. John Bladen says:

    It’s true that the distribution of games/venues around the country will lead to highly unbalanced travel schedules and ‘game experiences’.

    However, it is part of FIFA’s mandate to spread the game around the world using the world cup (see Russia, Qatar, Korea-Japan, RSA etc), and in turn it is incumbent upon host nations to distribute games around their countries. It is, by and large, the taxpayers of these nations that pay to win the right to stage world cups. Travelling fans certainly contribute, but the debts left by events like this in the modern era are far too large to be covered by even the exorbitant fees extracted from tourists.

    Bobby’s summary of distance travelled etc certainly shows that the organizers have not done a good job distributing group games in an equitable fashion. But to suggest that all games should be concentrated in a geographic area to ease the expense of out of country supporters is not appropriate, IMO.

    Concentrating all games in high population areas (which are generally already well served in both football and amenities) does not meet the goal of growing the game in my view. Better planning on the part of the organizers could have accomplished the goal of equalizing travel and other issues, while allowing a large cross section of the host nation the ability to be part of the celebration.

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