The world cup, what it can do for your country

This coming summer, the season of football will return. The Federation ‘Internationale de Football Association,’ popularly known as the FIFA World Cup will commence on the 4th of June. Sadly, this year The Netherlands has not been qualified in the World Cup, but other than that, the championship has made a great impact on people’s lives, connecting cultures of various countries and uniting people for this one special event putting political controversies aside. This year, the FIFA world cup will be hosted by Russia which means it will be the first time that the championship will be hosted in Eastern Europe. Moreover, the championship is continuing to spread across the world with the FIFA World Cup 2022 being held in Qatar. Despite the Championship being a considerable opportunity for the host country,  the outcome is not necessarily positive. The last FIFA world cup was held in Brazil where there were controversies surrounding the championship due to corruption. Will the next World Cup in Russia be able to benefit from the World Cup or face the same controversies and negative outcome that Brazil experienced?


The FIFA world cup was first established in 1904 and founded in Paris. The championship is played by senior men’s national teams from the 208 Member Associations of FIFA and is played every four years since 1930. It is known to be the most watched sporting event. In 2006, around 715.1 million people watched the final match and in 2010 the championship was broadcasted to 204 countries on 245 channels. The championship is one of the most awaited sporting competitions in the world. FIFA’s aim and mission statement are to develop the game, to touch the world through a wide range of competitions and build a better future through football. Furthermore, the FIFA world cup delivers an opportunity for the host country to advance its economy, especially through tourism.

In 2014, the World Cup was held in Brazil where high expectations were that the championship would aid the country’s economy. The aim was to expand the economy through job creations, infrastructure improvements and tourism. Six months after the World Cup, Brazil has gone through unfavorable social and economic effects.

According to the PEW Research Center, 61% of the citizens are against hosting the FIFA World Cup

Firstly, the World Cup led to the country experiencing high inflation, increase in crime rate and forcing mostly the lower income population to relocate to new residences to make way for various constructions, such as stadiums and airports. According to the International Monetary Fund, Brazil initially had a real GDP growth of 6.1% and inflation averaged at about 3.6% when it was announced in 2007 that the championship will be held in Brazil. Due to the 2008 financial crisis, the country’s economy was affected which led to inflation in the country. This prompted Brazilians to protest due to the expenses made for the World Cup.  $11.3 billion was consumed in the preparation of the FIFA world cup while the same amount is spent on the social welfare to 50 million people yearly.  According to the PEW Research Center, 61% of the citizens are against hosting the FIFA World Cup. Moreover, the Brazilians believed that the expenses should be invested in health and education rather than the infrastructure of football. Lastly, the aim of establishing jobs has not reached its expectations. The establishment of jobs has reached its lowest since 1998 even though that it was mentioned the 1 million jobs has been established due to the World Cup. We can, therefore, say that the FIFA World Cup did not lead to satisfactory results in Brazil.

It was met with a great amount of criticism since the board ofexecutives is often accused of being corrupt

Despite this, many countries hope to be able to host the Cup every four years. The way this is decided is through a system of bidding and then voting by the FIFA executive committee. This way is still relatively new since it was brought to life in 2008. It was met with a great amount of criticism since the board ofexecutives is often accused of being corrupt. This way could be affected by foul play. This is exactly what a lot of people think happened when the committee declared Russia the 2018 winner. Out of 22 possible candidates the voting round eventually consisted of four finalists:

  1. Russia
  2. Netherlands/Belgium
  3. Spain/Portugal
  4. England

The actual results of the voting were like this:

After the voting was done and results were made known, England stepped forward and said they were approached by several members of the committee who asked for bribes in exchange for their votes. Further investigations did not bring any bribery to light. The system is still, however, widely regarded as corrupt and people are asking themselves whether it is wise to host the cup in countries willing to pay astronomically high amounts of money to potentially bribe the committee members, since this money can also be used for the development of the country itself.

However, maybe Russia will fare better than Brazil and maybe the Cup might actually boost their economy in such a way that the whole country will benefit. Russia is already investing enormous amounts of money. Analysts expect Russia to spend a total of 13.2 Billion dollars, which would make it the most expensive soccer event ever. The question remains whether this amount is justifiable if you look at the total revenue gained for Russia. This is, however, hard to say, since there is no real way to predict the total revenue. This is because the years after the Cup are very uncertain. Yes, the construction creates a great number of jobs and the soccer fans add up to a lot of extra tourism and revenue.

Analysts expect Russia to spend a total of 13.2 Billion dollars, which would make it the most expensive soccer event ever

During the months of world championship, there will be a lot of benefits and Russia’s economy will be better for it. However, just like in Brazil, many jobs will fall away after this period and who knows where the extra money earned will go in the long run. We can only hope the leaders of Russia make sure the country will make good use of it. Only then will the whole country benefit from hosting the World Cup.

Izzabelle Ballouz & Max Kanne