Off­side po­si­tion

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

I’m not a big soc­cer fan. There, I said it. I find the game painfully bor­ing to watch. The only time I watch full games is once ev­ery four years when the FIFA World Cup rolls around. And while the tour­na­ment is shap­ing up to be a re­ally in­ter­est­ing one, I’m get­ting in­creas­ingly frus­trated with the way the game is played. I’m sure many fans share my ir­ri­ta­tion with the end­less div­ing by play­ers in an at­tempt to win a penalty or free kick, the poor calls by lines­men and some re­ally ques­tion­able ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions.

De­spite its sta­tus as a not-for-profit as­so­ci­a­tion un­der Swiss law, FIFA is run as a busi­ness – and a very prof­itable one at that (as we dis­cov­ered four years ago). So it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing then that it shares some painful par­al­lels with many of the lum­ber­ing large cor­po­rates that I speak to on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. I KNOW HOW TO FIX IT… I JUST DON’T WANT TO Soc­cer seems to court con­tro­versy, mis­takes and poor de­ci­sions. Some­times it in­volves il­le­gal hand­balls which are missed by the ref­eree, like Maradona’s in­fa­mous ‘Hand of God’ in the quar­terf in­als of the 1986 FIFA World Cup be­tween Eng­land and Ar­gentina, which is still talked about nearly three decades af­ter it hap­pened. Some­times it in­volves a

De­spite nu­mer­ous con­tro­ver­sies, the FIFA World Cup re­mains one of the most pop­u­lar soc­cer tour­na­ments world­wide.

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