China’s World Cup Bid

Published on Author spencerb15

China’s international soccer team is ranked an lowly 96th in the world according to FIFA rankings. Despite this poor showing in recent years, China maintains one of the largest fan bases in all of international soccer. Their fans go crazy for games, some following religiously. They also recently had a resurgence in their home league, one that was full of corruption until 2009.

This attitude has caused many business leaders in China to begin to vie for a chance to host the sports grandest event. One of the leading companies promoting this idea is the Dalian Wanda Group. They have committed to spending millions of dollars to sponsor Chinese players on Spanish teams, a country with one of the best leagues in the world. They also just acquired a Swiss sports-marketing agency, Infront Sports and Media AG, as well as a 20% stake in Spanish soccer power Atletico Madrid.

Many believe this trend shows an increased desire for China to host a World Cup in the future. The next time this would be possible however is in 2030. This delay could work in the favor of the Chinese as they continue to improve as a team and their interest in soccer continues to rise.

Source: WSJ China Realtime

2 Responses to China’s World Cup Bid

  1. Fifteen years is a lot of time to work on building up a player base and developing teams – here comparative advantage is best, iPhones for olive oil and coaches and a few seasoned players.

    Fifteen years also gives China a chance to clean up its act, to lower air pollution across a swath of cities. For the Olympics, the government in Beijing could force coal-dust belching plants to shut down temporarily and employ other measures that weren’t sustainable. The World Cup however normally is played in multiple cities, and over a longer time period, so more permanent policies are needed. In the US we still had killer smogs in the mid-1960s. It wasn’t just California’s LA Basin, either: even Richmond public schools closed a few times for smog days. The air was clear by the 1980s, rivers were no longer running black, and even Lake Erie was reopened for swimming. China can — for public health reasons, ought to! — make the same effort.

  2. I agree with the prof, the fifteen years until the possibility of a World Cup in China can only work in China’s favor at this point. As China moves closer to free market and becoming a developed nation, Chinese citizens are likely to become bigger fans of the world’s most popular sport. The Chinese government is taking steps to expand the electric car market in China through subsidies and investment in a charging network, which could lead to cleaner air and in effect more people interested in playing soccer.