Behind the Ball - The UOS Times
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Behind the BallAnalysis
Lee Jae-hun  |
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[0호] 승인 2007.05.26  
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Compete for 2006
There are some noises inside the FIFA concerned with the selection of the 2006 World Cup host country.

On the night of July 6 (KST), in FIFA House, Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA’s executive committee was held to make a decision on where the 2006 World Cup will be held. The host country is decided by the election of the committee members and this time, Germany was chosen for the 2006. Germany, South Africa, England and Morocco competed for the 2006 and Germany and South Africa remained as finalists. Germany won with 12 votes against 11 votes for South Africa. Germany has a chance for the 3rd World Cup in their country and the first World Cup after the reunification of East and West Germany.

This time, there are some noises inside the FIFA concerned with the selection of the 2006 World Cup host country. After the decision was made, some committe members told on an interview that they received a letter saying “If you support Germany, you will receive some money.” Charles Dempsey from OFC abstained from voting making doubt become bigger and bigger. If Dempsey participated in the vote and cast a vote for South Africa which he supported, the vote would be 12-12. Then the winner may have been changed since Joseph S. Blatter would have had a casting vote supporting South Africa outspokenly. The outer appearance of the problem might seem to be simple, but once you look in deeply, we can see the delicate power relationships in FIFA.

Inside the Affair
What is the reason of these things happening? As explained above, the most important reason is money.

This-2006 World Cup competi-tion-was the representative example of the surface appearance of the power relationship in FIFA. Dempsey revealed that the pressure from a threat is the reason for abstention. And the letter-delivered to the members of the committee saying that they will receive money if they support Germany-was revealed that it was a trick from a German press. After all, there are noises behind the decision of the 2006 World Cup host country. In this vote, the number 12-11 have a special meaning. The number of 12 votes for Germany represents the power of UEFA’s president Johansson and FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon. The power of them leads committee members vote for Germany. Because they have a strong dissatisfaction to FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter, they cast all their votes for Germany.

And after all, 11 votes for South Africa are from the side of Blatter who openly supports South Africa and the side of Brazil committee member who promised to support South Africa for 2006 and in return, got a promise to receive support from South Africa for 2010. With Germany getting the 2006 World Cup, the side of Chung Mong-joon and Johansson enlarged their power. On the contrary, the side of Blatter have no choice but to be less influential. Inside the FIFA, delicate power relationship has a crucial role in determining an important matter like this. It is worried that this power struggle occurs in a field of sports.

The principal part of sports should be clean, but now sport is a business itself. And the scale of sports business has developed in a great size. So money, power and authority influence the field of sports. Seeing the above affair, it seems as though political field has moved to sports. What is the reason of these things happening? As explained above, the most impor- tant reason is money. We also cannot ignore the authority and power which are accompanied with money. It is hard to remove these things from modern sports. As money is necessary because sports itself became a big business and contend with power can take place everywhere, we could think it is not a matter that deserves intensive criticism.

Just play the game!
When the soccer game is held, there is a flag that leads the players when they enter.

But we can’t ignore the peculiarity of sports. It is purity and cleaness. These are the most important characteristics of sports. It is true that modern sport is related to commercialism and it became a business that makes a profit. Actually, keen power competition also appeared upon a delicate power relationship. It seems as though we can’t remove these things perfectly.

But it will become a problem if these things reach to a risk level which threatens the purity of sports. It is ideal that the worldly things like commercialism, money and so on do not appear in the field of sports. When the soccer game is held, there is a flag that leads the players when they enter.

It is also patched up on referees’ jersey, printed on signboard and sometimes patched up on players’ jersey. It is ‘FIFA FAIR PLAY’. Sports games emphasize fair play and sportsman-ship. It is also necessary in the sporting world to emphasize that. FAIR PLAY, Please!

*FIFA : Federation Internationale de Football Association
*AFC : Asian Football Confederation
*OFC : Oceania Football Confederation
*UEFA : The Union des Associations Europeennes de Football

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