Monday, January 17, 2011

Absurdity, thy name is footie

After FIFA sprang for Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts, you'd think the football world would just lie low for a while, but no. Not content to leave the flaming wreckage of the 2007 Asian Cup in the past, Southeast Asia comes up with another cunning plan.
ASEAN foreign ministers have agreed to propose to the grouping’s leadership that the region host the FIFA World Cup in 2030 as a group, diplomatic sources say.
The idea of the region jointly hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2030 was first proposed by Malaysia at the annual foreign ministers’ meeting in Hanoi in July last year. 
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman volunteered to discuss the idea with his country’s sports authorities. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has endorsed the proposal.
During the recent ASEAN finance ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij also raised the idea, which was well received by his colleagues.
Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo proposed that Malaysia work with the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to come up with a concrete proposal to submit to the ASEAN leaders for their final approval.
Bear in mind that after the 2007 Asian Cup — co-hosted by Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand — even AFC President Mohammad Bin Hammam (who can spin with the best of them) publicly said that giving the event to four hosts was a mistake and he would not do it again. So why not bring a World Cup here? It seems everyone is getting one these days.

Oh, and I see on Twitter that FIFA has received two bids to host the 2015 Women's World Cup — Canada and ... Zimbabwe. If FIFA is serious about this "legacy" business, let's see it go whole hog.

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