Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

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Should Third World Countries Host International Sporting Events

Should Third World Countries Host International Sporting Events

COMMENTARY The votes shocked the world. Long considered the front runner for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago found itself finishing fourth among the finalists, the result of tactical voting against what was considered the front runner in the competition to host the Olympics.

Then Tokyo was eliminated, followed by Madrid. There were all sorts of euphoric eruptions as Rio de Janeiro was nominated as the site. Even Republicans joined in the cheering, as it provided a slap in the face to the city with so many connections to Barack Obama.

Now, nobody seems to be cheering decisions to award the Olympics to non proven sites. A recent report issued showed that Brazil is nowhere near ready to host the 2014 World Cup, which it was given. And hosting the 2016 Olympics could be a disaster for the Summer Games, as photos from the critical report showed the cesspool where rowing events would take place.

And that’s not the only problem. Brazil’s frequent blackouts and crime levels are likely to scare off investors and would be tourists hoping to attend the event. Corruption and general government inefficiency have kept promised projects, supposed to be completed or almost ready at this moment, from being even started.

One only has to see the spectacle of Sochi’s 2014 Winter Olympics to see how this could be dangerous. Hideous hotels and laughable lavatories are one thing; but badly injured athletes from dangerous conditions and sparsely attended events are another. The event was supposed to showcase the rebirth of Russia, a second world country. But the games showed that Russia seems unprepared to host any other international event, and may be closer to Third World status than previously believed.

This is not some diatribe against non whites (or I wouldn’t have singled out Russia), or even non Western countries. South Africa seemed to do a decent job of hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup, even if those vuvuzelas drove us crazy. But there seems to be a major difference between South Africa and the other two countries. And it involves government.

The Republic of South Africa isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly freer than Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where government power goes largely unchecked. And while Brazil may be relatively free, they aren’t necessarily free of corruption. China isn’t free, but has remarkable stability that separates it from its chaotic counterparts, enabling the country to host a relatively successful 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. That can be contrasted with Mexico City, where the brutal massacre of student protesters by the government overshadowed the 1968 contest. At least the country did better with the 1986 World Cup.

I know there’s a desire to open up the selection of Summer and Winter Olympic sites, as well as World Cup sites. But instead of awarding the events based upon sympathy and apology for past slights, one should wait for the country develop before bestowing that honor in the 1988 Summer Olympics and their shared hosting of the 2002 World Cup.

John A. Tures is an professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. I am a political mythbuster of sorts. I write political columns for LaGrange Daily News and Southern Political R. This network uses both exit and country codes for making international calls.

Group F Preview and Fixtures

Group F Preview and Fixtures

Group F in the Olympics 2012 women’s football features Canada, Japan, South Africa and Sweden. The best any of these four have done in the four previous tournaments are Sweden when they finished fourth in 2004 and Japan doing the same in 2008. There have been no top four finishes for the other two teams.

The winner of Group F will play the runner up in Group G in the quarter finals, the runner up in Group F will play the runner up of Group E and the third place in Group F, if with better statistics than either the third place in Group E or G, will play either the winner of Group G or the winner of Group E, all three on Friday 3rd August 2012.

CanadaThis is Canada’s second time at this stage, the first being in China four years ago, but they have qualified for the Fifa Women’s World Cup on the last five occasions. They qualified by finishing second to the USA, with captain Christine Sinclair scoring nine goals in qualifying matches. The Canucks are coached by John Herdman,

JapanThis will be Japan’s fourth time at this stage of the competition and they will be aiming to go at least one better after losing the third place play off to Germany last time out. They will be on a high after winning last year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup. They won four and drew one of their five qualifying games. Norio Sasaki is team coach.

South AfricaSouth Africa beat Zambia twice in qualifying but needed a penalty shoot out to get past Tunisia before beating Ethiopia 4 1 on aggregate. Head coach of the Banyana Banyana is Joseph Mkhonza. In their most recent tournament the Cyprus Cup they finished ninth out of 12 teams.

SwedenSweden came second in the 2003 Fifa Women’s World Cup and reached the semi finals in last year’s tournament, losing to eventual winners Japan before beating France in the third place playoff. They also took fourth place at this year’s Algarve Cup. They are coached by Thomas Dennerby.

Olympics 2012 Women’s Group F FixturesHere are the fixtures for Group F; match times are in British Summer Time:

25th July 17.00 Canada v Japan at the Ricoh Arena25th July 19.45 South Africa v Sweden at the Ricoh Arena28th July 12.00 Japan v Sweden at the Ricoh Arena28th July 14.45 Canada v South Africa at the Ricoh Arena31st July 14.30 Canada v Sweden at St James’ Park31st July 14.30 Japan v South Africa at the Millennium StadiumThe Venues in Group FAlso known as the City of Coventry Stadium, the Ricoh Arena is the home of Coventry City, who were recently relegated to the third tier of English football. The 32,6000 capacity stadium was opened in 2005. For those visiting the city, it is worth trying one or more of Coventry’s real ale pubs and bars.

St James’ Park is the home of Premiership club Newcastle United. The 52,000 capacity stadium was opened in 1892 and was expanded in 2000. Due to sponsorship, it is also known as the Sports Direct Arena.

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was opened in 1999 and is the Welsh national stadium. It has a capacity of 74,000 and it was also used as the English national stadium while Wembley was being rebuilt.

Football Betting Odds for Group FJapan are odds on favourites to win Group F with early prices from 8/11 to 10/11. Sweden are also fancied with odds from 13/8 to 7/4. Canada are holding steady at around 9/2 and South Africa are the outsiders with odds up to 33/1.

Other Group Previews

Men’s Group A Preview: Great Britain Senegal United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay Men’s Group B Preview: Gabon Mexico South Korea and Switzerland, Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland Men’s Group C Preview: Belarus Brazil Egypt and New Zealand, Brazil, Egypt and New Zealand Men’s Group D Preview: Honduras Japan Morocco and Spain, Japan, Morocco and Spain Women’s Group E Preview: Brazil Cameroon Great Britain and New Zealand, Cameroon, Great Britain and New Zealand Women’s Group G Preview: Columbia France North Korea and the USA, France, North Korea and the USA