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December 2, 2010

World Cup goes to Russia and Qatar -- a bookish view

world cup goes to russia and qatar

Now that Russia and Qatar have been named to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, we get a better sense of the worldwide appeal of the sport. The fact that officials bestowed the honor on Qatar -- a country with little soccer success, little soccer infrastructure and a footprint smaller than my home state of Connecticut -- illustrates the sport's huge economic promise. The once-every-four-years tournament can cause stadiums and hotels to blossom, and fans to flock to an obscure nation.

To read more about soccer's global appeal, here are a few interesting books that you might consider:

-- Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport, by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

-- The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer by David Goldblatt.

-- How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 11:38 AM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

The people of Middle east are crazy about Soccer. I am very happy for Qatar and the rest of the region. We need good news coming from that part of the world. I hope this inspires the youth of indulge in sports rather than violence.

Also very disappoint­ed with some of the comments here. The people living in Qatar may have a different lifestyle than us, but they deserve this as much as any other nation. Also an event like this will help the liberal forces in the middle east and will be a defeat for extremist.

Not surprised Qatar won the bid. Money talks. And they have so freakin much of it. The bitter side of me hopes their air conditioning breaks in the stadiums in the 120 F heat; hate to have to answer for that!

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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