Friday, May 17, 2013

ASEAN to Bid for 2034 World Cup

It looks like the ASEAN countries are going to mount a joint bid for the football (soccer) World Cup.  However, instead of bidding for the 2030 championship, the bid will target the 2034 edition.  

I've posted on this previously here and here.  I still think this is a great idea, and perhaps one of the few ASEAN projects that would capture the imagination of a football-mad ASEAN population.  I agree that allegations of match-fixing must be resolved and organizational infrastructure must be improved greatly, but I don't think the World Cup is a waste of time

These "soft" projects, like the Eurovision contest, help make regional institutions "real" and relevant to their nationals.  Also, as I explained in earlier posts, the sheer effort required to host the World Cup would incentivize the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, galvanizing the efforts needed to take place beyond the end 2015 deadline.  The 2034 date may seem quite far in the future, but it is a realistic date both for the World Cup and for realizing a fully functioning AEC.

The ASEAN sports ministers will meet on June 19 to discuss the bid. Let's hope they sign off  on it.