World Cup broadcast rights, GPYW grilled in Shoura

  • Broadcast rights of major sports events such as the World Cup used to be a hot topic for debate in the Arab World. Not anymore as most people here have grown accustomed to the realities of premium TV in the region. But something in this article from the New York Times caught my attention: “In many smaller European countries, public broadcasters still have a firm grip on the World Cup, under a collective agreement between FIFA, the governing body for the tournament, and the European Broadcasting Union, a group representing public broadcasters. A similar deal was signed between FIFA and the African Union of Broadcasters, providing viewers with free access to all the World Cup matches across much of sub-Saharan Africa.” Why this is not the case here? In the Middle East there is such a union. It’s called ASBU. Unfortunately for the people in this region, ASBU is too weak and has been subdued by private TV networks owned by individuals with close ties to Arab government. Go figure.
  • Speaking for the World Cup, Saudi Arabia did not make it to this year’s tournament for the first time since 1994. This failure to qualify and other local sports issues have been recently discussed in the Shoura Council. The General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW) has come under strong criticism from Shoura members who questioned the performance of GPWY and how they spend their budget. I highly doubt this will change anything in that aging body, but I’m glad to see them getting kicked, even if it was merely symbolic.

5 thoughts on “World Cup broadcast rights, GPYW grilled in Shoura

  1. Success in high level sports competitions as a nation is usually predicated upon having a well-developed infrastructure of encouraging sports, providing opportunities for participation and competition, providing training for national coaches and judges from the beginners level to highly advanced, and investing in recruiting and training high performance athletes–usually both men and women.

    It seems this is part of Saudi’s difficulty–both in “participaction” ie participating in sports for recreation and fitness, and in high level competition as a nation.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  2. World cup – which remind me, that first time I’ve noticed your blog was in relation to last world cup. Thanks Ahmed.

    And to Chiara, yes some analysts are of this opinion, but it’s not always true .Of course ex. my home country Denmark participation has much to do with organization ( we are a small country, and the talent pool i smaller) but Brazil ex. won the world cup long before it was a successful ‘BRIC’ country; And the internal Brazil football organization is marred by corruption and incompetence. But their players, the same with Argentine.
    I think it’s a cultural thing, it takes at least three – four football generations to develop a culture and the team spirit.

    Egypt and Algeria is on their way, the win even if they don’t play that well. And to do that is the first step.

  3. NeilsC–Brazil, Argentina, and Algeria have “participaction” in spades. These countries, according to their own nationals are football mad, “all” (boy) children play, in the street, in a field, at school, etc. They are too poor to have competing sports and basically a whole group can play as long as there is one something that passes for a ball. So they have a culture on football/soccer on which to draw, and yet don’t as often win as one would expect given that.

    Canada had no real soccer infrastructure until recently and little soccer culture outside immigrant enclaves. We did really abysmally internationally (no national team for a long while) and now do just extremely poorly. But major efforts to broaden the soccer culture and improve the infrastructure mean that we do better. We even beat Morocco once in a match, which my BIL didn’t appreciate as much as I did. :) (He’s one of those shout at the television, “PENALTY!!!! C’est pas vrai!! P* de m*!!!” types LOL :) ).

    You and I seem to agree that a soccer culture and some opportunity to play are necessary. Thanks for filling me in on the rest! :)

  4. Well ex. in Denmark and I guess also in most european countries, most national team from U16 and up play the same
    system, ( be 442 or 433 or whatever), and the best levels in all youth teams do play very structured and planned. It has been argued, that the difficulties, that we have in integrating immigrants kids in higher levels, is due to their non accept of the structured play style. If it’s true I don’t know, but soccer on a high level demand structure ( and good players) and you could argue that on of the condition to play structured is a strong organization, and highly educated trainers. Of course real competition is important, thats why the chinese hasn’t succeeded . The soccer organization is to corrupt ( a mixture of gambling cartels, and communist traditions ).
    But hopefully we will get an inspiring tournament.

  5. Ah, but once the immigrant kids adapt to the structure (assuming they do have any difficulty) they turn into Zinadine Zidane! Who unfortunately, after taking France into the final, let an Italian make him lose his temper…something his coaches had been helping him work on since he first started structured play. Some good old fashioned mother-sister trash talk…and pfft! ITALIA! LOL :) :P

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