Opinion / From the Readers

Not-so-good economy of soccer

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-19 07:07

The world is in the throes of soccer mania thanks to the Football World Cup gala. Soccer is perhaps the most exciting and beautiful sport, but it seems to be ruled more by commerce nowadays. It is still the most popular sport in the world, but its agenda at almost all levels (from local to global) are set by economics.

Players (and spectators) have become mere pawns in the hands of sponsors, shadowy political characters and business houses. The overall quality of soccer may have improved over the past few years, but organizing games and tournaments has become an increasingly complicated affair.

Millions of dollars are paid to players and clubs. Every corner, free kick, penalty and goal is up for sale, on TV and the Internet, reflecting the level of commercialization of the sport. Soccer is good business, and starting from Europe, this business has spread throughout the world. And thanks to this good business, club owners make millions of dollars from TV rights and team franchise.

Along with all this has come match fixing. Investigations carried out from 2008 to 2011 revealed 680 match-fixing cases across the world, in which about 400 officials and players were involved. No surprises here, for this is what blind commercialization does to any sport or recreational activity.

CAISHEN, from China Daily blog

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(China Daily 06/19/2014 page9)

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