Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Underthinking FIFA/IOC

So today I saw this story about more corruption allegations with FIFA regarding the allocation of hosting rights for their Soccer World Cup. Apparently people have asked for everything from Education centres, television broadcasts to honorary knighthoods in exchange for a vote.

"You got my vote, this is sweet"
The problem I see is that the way the process is set up, how can countries expect to put themselves ahead of the other countries without offering gifts or return votes. I mean essentially all the services you can offer is the same, so the only way to make yourself stand out is to offer the voters something.
"Crap, which country gave me this bribe"
As long as it is a voting process people are going to offer things to put themselves ahead, and whether or not its bribery is a matter of semantics. I mean clearly cash is a bribe, but where does the line stop, if you give someone a free holiday to your host city is that a bribe, or just showing them what you have to offer? Clearly you will put them in a good hotel to show off your city, putting the voter up in a hostel is not likely to endear yourself to the voters.

Not helping obtain votes.
Also with this lobbying process the city ends up spending a lot of money not even sure that they will get the event. It doesn't seem like the best way, too much money is exchanged and in these tough times we need to find a way to reduce costs.

"We need to cut your spending"

So I propose a new method of selecting the host city for major sporting events (and apologises if you have read this before, it was a fb status of mine once) it is a two fold process.

1./ Eligibility 

Every city that wants to host the event sends a proposal to the relevant sporting organisation. The sporting organisation puts together a team of two that travels to all the cities to find out whether they have the infrastructure to host the event. i.e. Is their accommodation up to scratch?

"Yeah, I am not sure this will sustain an extra 20,000 people for two weeks"
Do they have adequate transportation network?
"Is it possible you could put on another couple of trains?"
Are their sporting facilities up to scratch?

"So where exactly is the media box?"

Once the two man team gives the city the A-ok, they get put on the list of cities that can host the event.

"Its all good"
2/. Selection

In the normal selection process once the cities have been selected to be voted for, they seem to be rather minor arguments for one city over the other. Better night life, or greater history for the game, or wonderful scenery. Each of these things, while being worth consideration seem like a rather arbitrary way to select a host. Like comparing apples to oranges.
"Yes they are different"

 So I purpose that once you have proven your city can host the event, your name is put in a barrel and the host is just selected by way of a random draw.  I mean the ability to host is the main thing, the added extras you provide is just a bonus.

"And the next host of the soccer world cup is....
There are some things that need to be tweaked in my method, i.e. in FIFA they like to spread it round the different regions, but this can be taken into account in the eligibility step. Only countries that are from the region you want can put forward a proposal that year.
Nice try England, Europe hosted the World Cup recently.
I don't see too many major flaws in my proposal, but if you do let me know.

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