Monday, June 19, 2017

Is The FIFA Calendar a Role Model for Other Sports?

Every summer, FIFA which is the govern body for soccer across the world puts fourth a major TV viewing tournament that grabs the attention of not just soccer fans but sports fans in general.

While FIFA has taken a boat load of criticism over the years, they have done something that other sports like Hockey and Basketball. For instance, over a four year cycle, FIFA has been able to spread out the four most important tournaments on the FIFA Calendar.

The four most important tournaments around the world globally are the FIFA World Cup, Euro Cup, Confederations Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup have their own summer and have made an effort to make these tournaments vocal points in the four year cycle.

In fact, with everything going on in the soccer world globally such as a 48 team 2026 World Cup and a rapidly growing women's game, FIFA has found a way to maximize their marquee events.

Firstly, the FIFA World Cup -

Held every four years basically because of how long the Qualifying process takes and the money that the host country throws at putting on a successful event. The four year gap makes the event special and a worthy wait. Around the world, non soccer fans watch even when their birth country didn't even qualify.

Hockey - Nothing really, a usually highly hyped Olympic tournament that is anything but now that NHL's aren't taking part. They tried a Hockey World Cup but that wasn't very successful as fake teams such as Team Europe and North America U23 were inserted.

Basketball - A rebranded World Cup which we don't know how will turn out as the first when will happen in 2019 in China.

Euro Cup -
A very highly anticipated event that takes place on every other even year as the World Cup does. Some people prefer this tournament over the World Cup because of the quality of soccer UEFA has. It is watched across the world.

Hockey - Nothing currently exists

Basketball- Eurobasket is big but only in Europe and only we watched if your country is taking part.

Confederations Cup -

Currently on now and it's a Icebreaker for the World Cup the following year. Each confederation has a Cup, the winner of each Cup plus the Host and previous World Cup all take part in a 8 team group stage tournament. Only really watched by the soccer faithful or if your country is participating. That being said, it is a good appetizer for what the following year holds.

Hockey - Nothing, but the Four Nations Cup does exist on the women's side.

Basketball - Nothing

FIFA Women's World Cup -
Still in it's infancy compared to the Men's World Cup, the Women's World Cup is rapidly increasing in popularity every year. In 2015, Canada hosted the first ever 24 team tournament and was a success. The event is watched fairly well across the world especially where women's sport is taking seriously.

Basketball - FIBA Women's World Cup which never got publicity and happens every four years.

Hockey - The Olympic ice Hockey Tournament is watched well but only in two countries. Canada and USA.

This illustrates how well FIFA does of showcasing their four top events. The only reasons why they aren't more soccer tournaments followed globally is because of the lack of English broadcasting.

If I were you, I would grab a beer, research this soccer stuff and find a team to cheer on. Soccer's margins for error are razor thin and its even better when your team or club is involved.

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