Friday, July 13, 2007

Road to 2014 World Cup Begins Oct. 29


FIFA, world football's governing body, is expected to announce the site of the 2014 World Cup October 29th.

Brazil is widely expected to be named the hosts.
Considering they're the only country in the running, I'd say their shot at winning selection is pretty good ...

FIFA is trying to introduce a rotation policy to hosting the World Cup between the 6 regional confederations.

In 2006, the Cup came to UEFA (the European governing body, which stands for Union of European Football Associations) and Germany.

In 2010 to CAF (Confederation of African Football) and South Africa. Now comes South America's turn, with CONMEBOL (CONfederación SudaMEricana de FútBOL) putting in Brazil's bid.

Mind you, Brazil has been told by FIFA that it must still meet the necessary technical requirements and provide sufficient government guarantees. So it's no shoe-in. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in March that the World Cup could still be moved to another continent if Brazil failed to mount a convincing bid.

The World Cup has not been staged in South America since Argentina hosted and won the trophy in 1978.

Brazil has hosted the World Cup once before, in 1950.
That tournament ended in heartbreak for the Brazilians, when Uruguay beat them 2-1 in the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro to become world champions.

This game is one of the most painful memories for Brazilians to remember. It's been dissected and talked about ad nauseum by journalists, philosophers and prominent thinkers of the day.

As Alex Bellos, author of the wonderful book, Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life
says, 'The 1950 World Cup final has been discussed, analysed and interpreted so many times, by so many people and for so long that it has ceased to be a game of football and is instead a weave of mythical narratives.'

Or as prominent Brazilian writer Nelson Rodrigues said, 'Everywhere has its irremediable national catastrophe, something like a Hiroshima. Our catastrophe, our Hiroshima, was the defeat by Uruguay in 1950.'

Not even this week's victory over Uruguay in the Copa America semifinals will remediate this pain.

Read this excerpt from Futebol for more on this classic game.

2 comments:

Shyam Sundar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shyam Sundar said...

Call it conincidental or plain fortuitous, i just finished reading Futebol: The Brazilian way of life. It is a fantastic book detailing in a intricate way how a nation shaped the 'beautiful game' and vice-versa.

A must read for anyone who loves the beautiful game as viewed from the terraces of the nation that substantiates the phrase in its own unique way.