The 2030 World Cup prepares its stories | Soccer | Sports

Each choice of the World Cup venue, or a miscellany of venues in the case of the edition that will be held in 2030, responds to FIFA’s political interests, more or less covert and sometimes with unforeseen final readings. In 1964, during the presidency of the Englishman Stanley Rous, a transatlantic model of alternation was established, with a long-term sequence: Mexico 70, Germany 74, Argentina 78 and Spain 82. This exclusive Europe-America relationship was not abandoned until the year 2002, at the height of football as a global entertainment industry, favored by incessant technological advances—communication satellites, personal computers, mobile telephony, Internet…— and the profound changes in political and economic cycles: fall of the Berlin Wall , dismemberment of the Soviet Union, consolidation of the Chinese giant on the world stage and the trail of petrodollars from the countries of the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.

The 82 World Cup belonged to the old parochial football mentality. The 2030 plan subscribes to current geopolitical interests, organized together by Spain, Portugal and Morocco, after taking off in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. There are many who interpret this election as a simple halt in the direction of Saudi Arabia, which will hardly find competition to organize the 2034 World Cup and confirm the role of main actor that the Saudi regime has reserved for itself on the football scene. Just 12 years after the Qatar edition, another country rich in energy resources and geostrategic ambitions, the biggest sporting event will return to that same area.

There are seven years left and the story of 2030 begins to be built, which involves the election of three border countries, two of them European and one African, historically poorly related neighbors. The reproach has almost always outweighed the trust between Spain and Portugal, pushed towards the Atlantic connection with Europe, and especially with the United Kingdom, for reasons of tradition and the geographical pressure of the country that cuts it off from the rest of Europe. At a time when speed in communications is crucial, the absence of a high-speed rail connection between Portugal and France means something, when the internal network has been operating in Spain since 1992.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco are willing to put aside differences

Perhaps the 2030 World Cup will help resolve relationship problems that have been entrenched since time immemorial. There will not be a better laboratory for the good understanding and collaboration of the Iberian countries. In the football chapter, both Spain and Portugal enjoy well-deserved prestige. They are characterized by massive fervor, great teams, magnificent players and the success of their teams in all categories. Rivalry is guaranteed. In 2010, Spain won the World Cup and Portugal won the Euro 2016. They will rightly be among the favorites. Several of its best young footballers – Pedri, Gavi, Lamine Yamaal, Balde, Nico Williams… – will not have reached their thirties in 2030. Portugal will be awaiting the post-Cristiano Ronaldo transition, but its incessant production of talents does not stop.

After South Africa in 2010, Morocco will be the second African country to host World Cup matches. Morocco faces Europe through the Strait of Gibraltar, which at its shortest distance separates it from Spain by only 14 kilometers. A slight gap in terms of proximity, a gigantic gap in political, social, economic and religious issues. In some way, the strait is the symbolic epicenter of two worlds divided by the consequences of European colonization in Africa, transferred in these years to the instability of the continent, which is largely impregnated with Russian troops and Chinese money, while It accentuates a migratory pressure on Europe that does not stop, a flow that the antidemocratic sectors of the right take advantage of to gain ground on the political scene.

Many interpret FIFA’s decision as a step towards Saudi 2034

Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, has no problem using the migration crisis to further his populist arguments. “We need to find a way to give hope to Africans, so that they do not have to cross the Mediterranean to get a better life,” Infantino told the Council of Europe Assembly last year. His magic potion from him? World Cups every two years. As far-fetched and greedy as this message may sound, it illustrates the attention that FIFA pays to the most burning global issues and its willingness to stick its nose in somewhere.

It is indisputable that the 2030 World Cup will be held under the summer sun in a hot area of ​​the world, where three countries seem willing to put aside differences and enter into a sensible stage of collaboration, under the control of FIFA, which will arrogate to itself exhaustive power. decision-maker in almost all areas of the organization. Gardel would say that seven years are nothing and that Spain is in good conditions to improve sports and communication structures, accelerate the digital transition and rethink tourism policy, but no period is short enough to guarantee stability in times of uncertainty and tension. Just look at the Spanish case.

When Spain was confirmed as the host of the ’82 World Cup in 1966, the country was governed by a dictatorship that had been in power for 27 years. It would last nine more years, until Franco’s death in 1975. After World War II, he was the only one of the dictators who survived open collaboration with Nazism. FIFA had no qualms about awarding the World Cup, probably because it applied an internal maxim that Jerome Valcke, secretary general of the institution, uncovered in 2013. “The less democracy and the greater the authoritarianism, the better it is to organize a football World Cup.” ”.

Every championship in history has responded to political interests

The same year that Spain was designated as the host of the ’82 World Cup, Argentina was commissioned to organize the 1978 World Cup. Although exposed to serious risks, Argentina was governed by the democratic system. Events turned in opposite directions in the two countries. In 1978, the World Cup was played under the control of the deadly military dictatorship. FIFA, with the Brazilian João Havelange in the first of his numerous mandates, began to outline the strategy that would turn football into a massive commercial phenomenon.

Franco’s Spain was awarded the 82nd World Cup, but the narrative was contrary to Argentina’s. The dictator had died seven years earlier and democracy was walking through failures. In 1981, a coup d’état failed, ETA murdered 32 people, adulterated rapeseed oil caused 5,000 deaths and serious consequences for 20,000 people, Quini, Barça’s center forward, was kidnapped and the CPI (consumer price index) It settled at 14.5%. It was a year of bad news. They were not better in football either, where the Spanish teams were less and less successful. The last victory in the European Cup had occurred in 1966. The team invited deep discouragement, varnished by a patriotic fervor that did not prevent its colossal failure in 1982.

However, that World Cup, awarded to a dictatorial regime and preceded by a year of misfortunes, was later interpreted as a well-used opportunity in a transformative moment for Spain. The divorce law was approved, the first socialist government of the new democracy was formed, the World Cup accelerated tourism and success reached a new generation of filmmakers. Almodóvar premiered Labyrinth of Passions and José Luis Garcí presented Start over. He won the Oscar in 1983. Something was moving forward in Spain and that World Cup helped. We will see to what extent 2030 helps.

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