The FIFA World Cup is arguably the most anticipated and impactful sporting event around the world, rivaled only by the Olympics. Hosting such an event can inject an indebted country with a much needed cash flow boost, and therefore benefit the short term economy. However, the construction of new stadiums that may not be used again and the exponential use of greenhouse gases often cause these borderline third-world countries to sink further into the red.
When Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014, the country was split on whether to host the world cup or not, which seems implausible due to the country’s undying level of enthusiasm to the beautiful game to the point where it’s almost annoying. This is because of the absurd amount of money it costs to fund such a tourney. An estimated 10 billion was spent by the Brazilian government on stadiums and services. To put that in context, you could buy an average of 20 different NHL teams with all that moolah. Instead of spending on a month-long tournament that will decrease employment rates, maybe work on that 13.4% that’s already without a job. It’s not such a bad ending for Brazil however, for despite their small economic downturn as a result of consecutively hosting the World Cup and the Olympics, the economy has recently begun to grow in this past year.
On the other side, we have countries like Russia that host the World Cup. Russia is huge, and so is their economy. Even a multi billion-dollar event like the World Cup will not have any lasting effect on the country’s economy. Boosts in the fields such as tourism and construction will arise, but only for a very small amount of time. In choosing Russia as the host of this year’s World Cup, FIFA has made a safe, reasonable decision as the event poses no threat to Russia’s economy (which could be strategic with the recent heavy scrutiny upon FIFA).
The ideal place for the World Cup right now would be in the southeast Asia. This area provides wealthy countries that could handle most of the games being played such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and parts of Indonesia; while also including some countries that could benefit from holding a small number of games with the venues that they’ve already built without having to pay billions to create new ones. These countries include Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. As well as providing an opportunity for these countries to grow economically, Southeast Asia would prove to be a perfect spot for tourism as it is an often overlooked and underrated region of the world with great weather and history.