Sunday, November 14, 2010


Tagline: More Than a Game
What the Tagline Should Be: More Than a's also a Way to One-up Japan.
You Tube Plea:

Pros: Have you ever started watching a hit tv show half-way through? It debuted and you didn't notice, it was on-air for a couple years and you were always busy or watching something else. Nobody really talked about it except to say: "oh yeah, I love that show!"? Well in global affairs that's Korea...the How I Met Your Mother of developing markets. As the You Tube video explains (in the kind of perfect presentation style that I have to give an A for content), Korea has stability politically and economically; its infrastructure is great and it offers a flair of the foreign with the comforts of home (it's EPCOT-tastic!). Also, Korea benefits from its competition: with FIFA honor bound to give the 2018 World Cup to some pasty Europeans it may not want to give the following World Cup to pasty descendants of pasty Europeans (that means bad news for the US and Australia) and the fine-tuned precision of Kora's bid seems a better alternative than Qatar and Japan.

Cons: Only one country has hosted the World Cup twice in twenty years (Mexico 1970 & 1986...and they only got the '86 gig after Columbia spent all its stadium money on Carlos Valderamma's hair gel), most countries have to wait 60 years before they host again (Italy, France, Brazil) and while Korea's great, it might be a little presumptuous to assume they deserve it again so soon. Moreover, the "great fan culture" cuts both ways, if Koreans love football so much they'll watch even if it's not in Korea. So if FIFA wants to grow the game, Korea might not be its best option. (Also: where were the adorable kids in that video? C'mon Korea you're missing the appeal to our heartstrings) It also might be a little naive to assume that FIFA can solve the problem of North Korea by giving South Korea the World Cup (Can you see Kim Jong Il saying: "well, shoot! I was going to keep imprisoning dissidents and asserting my iron will until I died and handed over power to my equally ruthless son, but now that you've given a platform for my main rival to show the world how forward they are and backward I am...I guess I better start behaving!")

Summary: My snarkiness aside, FIFA loves feeling needed and relishes the opportunity to use sport for good. That humanitarian slant, as well as a distinctive culture, stable environment, and excellent footballing history makes Korea a serious contender for the 2022 cup.

Chances: It all depends on the tricky balance of "Pasty European Guilt" v.s. "Growing the Game". If Korea holds up enough pictures of adorable kids holding soccer balls and pouting they have an excellent chance.

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