Futbol And Football today…

When it comes to hosting the FIFA World Cup, a current trend seems to be for neighboring countries to submit joint bids for the tournament.  In 2026, the US along with Canada and Mexico will be the joint hosts; several other country pairings appear to be interested bidders for the 2030 Tournament.  FIFA is beginning to explore options for 2030 and here is the state of play for now:

  • Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay will submit a joint bid.
  • Spain and Portugal have already submitted a joint “Iberian bid”.
  • Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia are in talks to put together a joint bid.
  • Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are considering a joint bid.
  • Cameroon is exploring potential partners for a joint “Sub-Saharan bid”.
  • England, China and Egypt are all considering “lone wolf” bids to be the 2030 host.

Joint bids make sense for smaller countries with smaller economies.  Just about every country has a futbol pitch or two that is “satisfactory for FIFA World Cup play” but few would have enough venues to host a World Cup tournament without lots of construction.  When Brazil hosted in 2016, it had to build lots of facilities, and they are now giant white elephants in a country with plenty of poverty and marginal housing.  Joint hosting could allow these smaller countries to bring pieces of the tournament home to its fans without spending a ton of money on things that might not be at the top of the spending priority list for that smaller country.

Hosting the 2030 games will probably be a plum for the country that is selected because it will be the 100-year anniversary of the World Cup Tournament.  The first one back in 1930 was held in Uruguay which might give that Latin American consortium a small leg up in the approval process.  Back then, only 13 teams entered the tournament; Uruguay was the first World Cup champion when it defeated neighboring Argentina in the 1930 final game.

For the 2030 tournament, the field will consist of 48 teams meaning that the idea of trying to shoehorn that many games into a small set of venues becomes impractical.  England and China probably have the facilities to be the host country all by themselves; it is not clear to me that is the case in Egypt without a massive construction effort.

The timeline for a decision for 2030 is that it should be voted on and announced at the FIFA Congress at the end of 2023 to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Several weeks ago, Michigan football coach, Jim Harbaugh, was the keynote speaker at a Right-to-Life event that intended to raise money for pro-life non-profits in Michigan.  In his remarks, he said:

“In God’s plan, each unborn human truly has a future filled with potential, talent, dreams and love.  I have living proof in my family, my children, and the many thousands that I’ve coached that the unborn are amazing gifts from God to make this world a better place. To me, the right choice is to have the courage to let the unborn be born.”

It should not be a surprise that such statements drew attention and criticism Harbaugh’s way.  I have no interest in a Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debate here, but I will note that Harbaugh’s critics in this situation were by and large the same people who thought he took a righteous and courageous position when he spoke in support of Colin Kaepernick or when he expressed his personal disgust at the death of George Floyd.  And indeed, folks who criticized him then largely praise him for his speech at that fundraising event.

  • Memo to Coach Harbaugh:  You can’t please all the people all the time.

In a discussion with someone from ESPN, Harbaugh also said that if one of his family members or one of his players had a baby that they could not care for, Harbaugh would step up and care for the child.  That is heady stuff even when you recognize that the Harbaugh family has ample resources at its disposal.  That pronouncement got him a lot of positive reaction.

As you might expect, I did not see that second line of oratory quite as positively as others may have.  I acknowledge that it can be heard as a huge commitment to charity and a statement of Harbaugh’s resolve in his convictions that produced the remarks at the fund-raising event.  However, it may not necessarily be “read that way” by everyone.

Young males who are collegiate athletes at top-shelf athletic schools like Michigan are also testosterone driven beings.  Please do not try to square the circle defined by “Top 50 Football Teams” and “Celibacy”; it just ain’t gonna happen.  And because that ain’t gonna happen, I think his declaration of support for a child in need can be interpreted as being akin to a “hall pass” for players who might engage in non-safe sex.  And if any of his players take that message in that way, then Harbaugh’s declaration runs counter to what a coach and leader should be telling young men is a smart approach to the rest of their adult lives.

I have no problem with Coach Harbaugh saying what he did and using his stature to raise money for causes he believes in, and I have no problem with his commitment to care for young children once they have been born.  I only hope that his message is not misinterpreted as stated above because I sincerely believe that is NOT what Coach Harbaugh meant to convey as his message.

Finally, apropos of nothing, let me close today with this entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Boxing:  One day, somebody mentioned that it might be interesting to let two men pummel each other about the face and body, preferably to the point of inflicting cerebral hemorrhage, while a bunch of people watched.  And then, somebody else said that sounded like a pretty good idea.  Sometimes, life is pretty uncomplicated.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Futbol And Football today…”

    1. TenaciousP:

      My understanding of String Theory is marginal but I do believe that some of the String Theory math indicates that time is not a constant…

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