Friday, March 4, 2016

A Short Essay over the 2006 World Cup Implications

When the investigation concluded this week over Germany and the possible suggestion that they paid of Qatar's representative with roughly 6.7 million Euro....their conclusion was that there is simply not any evidence standing there to support the allegation.  End of the story.

There was a deep breathe by the German folks involved because they can now get on with their lives. The allegation?  It still sits there.  Most people believe the Germans paid for the games.

So, I've sat and pondered over the allegation, the amount, and the results.  Here are my thoughts.

First, someone was going to get the games, and it's likely that various people sat at the decision table and simply waited till the end.....when someone would come to bid for their vote.  It's a natural tendency.  You get on some stupid have value for your vote.....and someone will make a bid for it.  I can't think of many situations where ethics or values overwhelm such a situation.  The World Cup games would not function.....unless profit were generated.

So I went back to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  It's an interesting deal.  That brief summer....roughly 500,000 temporary jobs were created for about six weeks.  For some folks, they were working way more than forty hours a week, this I can attest to in the Kaiserslautern region for it's games.  

Germany says in terms of tourism profits for that summer.....they were 400 million Euro over the normal mark.  That's a hefty amount of money....tied to hotels, restaurants, pubs, taxi companies, car rentals, and airlines. There's almost three billion Euro tied into Football gimmicks or gifts that they sold throughout Germany, Europe and the World.  All of this.....and then tens of millions of Euro spent by Germans themselves for backyard bar-b-q's, beer, and liquid refreshments.

In the Kaiserslautern community, the Pfalz government finally loosen the strings and gave a ton of paving and road money to the local community.  Over a one year period.....I was shocked at the number of roads which were fixed.....some widened to handle four-lanes....some had decades-long curves eliminated....some had potholes which were ancient and almost 'holy'.  

What people got when they arrived?  I generally regarded Kaiserslautern as a fairly clean and kept-up town of 100,000 people.  Over the month or two prior to the seems like the city came out in full force and cleaned the city to the ninth degree.  What visitors saw.....was for a brief time.....a crown jewel of Rhineland-Pfalz.  No trash on the street.  No homeless guys standing around the mid-section of town.  No graffiti in public view.  Even the stupid unfinished hotel building in mid-town K-town was covered over with some fancy fabric and made into a back-drop for the audience coming for the game. 

For that brief summer....Germans were proud of the games and demonstrated some weird happiness over having tourists walk around and consume beers.  There was some attitude change that I saw that summer of 2006.....Germans had reached some stage above the 1945 end-of-the-war episode where they could be proud in public.  

So, all of this.....for some lousy 6.7 million Euro?  In my book, it was worth it.  If you had gone public and just said you needed everyone to donate 50 Euro for this bribe....I would have happily paid the 50 Euro and been more than happy with the results from this (frankly, taking the seven curves out of the 2.5 kilometer road behind my house to the next town....would have been worth the 50 Euro easily).  

I realize it's all bad ethics and unprofessional to pay off bribes like this.  But you know.....if it'd been someone like Greece who'd paid off the guy with 6.7 million Euro.....they would have gotten the games....screwed up on handling it....wasted millions of state money....gotten nothing in return but complaints from the citizens, and then what?  You can't find any German who whined about the 2006 summer and atmosphere it created.  It's a weird topic that you can bring up with most Germans who remember the year....a decade ago....and how things seemed like some Disneyland-theme-park where people were pumped up, standing there with a beer in their hand, and had some stupid smile or gleeful look over the German World Cup.  

Like or or not.....I'm of the mind that it's best to drop this whole thing and just not identify anyone connected to the 6.7 million....if it ever existed...and accept it as just stupid luck that some idiot might have gained such a bribe.  

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