The Football World Cup is the biggest football event. Not only because it takes place every four years or represents probably the most popular sport, but because the world’s view of the host country is right. The country hosting the World Cup must not only have a long and arduous career tested by FIFA, but must also be subject to extensive criticism. Germany, too, was initially viewed critically by other countries in 2006, but after the end of the year the opinion about the host country changed. So was Africa in 2010 and Brazil four years later. The positive side effect of the great popularity of the sporting event is that grievances but also positive aspects in a country are dealt with and discussed. In this sense, Russia is no exception. It has tried to make a good world championship and the world saw a flawless implementation.
The world looks to the east
Whenever major sporting events come closer, reports on the country, its problems and critical aspects, but also on culture and positive aspects, increase sharply. It was the same with South Korea, for example, which hosted the Olympic Winter Games in the same year as the World Cup in Russia. There was a lot of news about the country, its society, past as well as current events and developments with the neighbouring country North Korea. When it sent a group of athletes to take part in the games, the world followed the event. Russia had to face similar challenges and criticisms. Various aspects of the country were dealt with and discussed.
The political situation
The foreign policy activities of the country were probably the biggest point of criticism of the country. The World Cup, which was also called “Putin’s Games” by some voices, clearly put the country in a better light. Not only because the country made a great effort to be a good host, but also because the world was more involved with the country. However, foreign policy activities have led many to be critical of the host. Furthermore, the security of the country and visitors, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, political freedom of the Russians themselves, but also the infrastructure were criticized. Ultimately, however, none of the fears or anxieties proved to be a real threat. The security forces took good care of the spectators and riots of the dreaded hooligans were also prevented. This not only ensured a smooth process without incidents, but also a positive perception of Russia’s security and political stability abroad.
The social situation
Of course, the social and domestic political situation of the country was also scrutinized and critically examined. During the World Cup, many visitors to the country were amazed at the openness and hospitality of the Russians. The exuberant hosts let all prejudices fade and celebrated together with the world. So, for example, Nikolskaya Street in Moscow, which was actually highly secured, became a fan zone with exuberant celebrations on the first matchday. Such more or less spontaneous events offered full tolerance and freedom. These also included political issues that pointed to the points of criticism in their own country. This was reported only marginally and these reports were not broadcast in the sports show which most people were following at that time. But despite the comparatively minimal media coverage, the focus on social, domestic and societal issues has been a success. Finally, it should be mentioned that Russia, the largest country in the world, of course did not benefit from the World Cup everywhere. Regarding the infrastructure or social hotspots in the country, it is not possible that all cities and areas benefited from the success of the World Cup. Moreover, the World Cup is over after a month and the euphoria that swept and swept the whole country along cannot last forever. Thanks to the World Cup, the country’s image was able to score numerous points.
The sporting success of the World Cup in your own country
In the discussions about politics, society or the many social issues of the country hosting the World Cup, one should not forget that despite everything, sport is still the issue and should be the focus of attention. Before the start, the Russian team was under suspicion of doping and the test matches of the national team were not necessarily marked by success and many goals. With the first match of the world championship the team showed its qualities. With a more than convincing 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and a 3-1 win over Egypt, the country finally made a name for itself in football and created joy and euphoria throughout the country. Although the host nation had already finished in the last 16 against Croatia, both their compatriots and other national sides praised the entire team for their outstanding performance and dedication. With the surprising successes at the World Cup, the Russian Football Association took a big step forward. But not only football has become more popular in Russia. Since the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, the sport in Russia has moved more into focus and is enjoying more and more active participants, talent promotion as well as spectators. Both the World Cup, international sporting events and the Winter Games have brought the country very far forward in terms of sport and have strongly influenced its image in a positive sense.
The economic aspect of the World Cup
The countries are not trying without reason for the World Cup and are increasing their entire infrastructure. To such an event of such dimensions enormous crowds of people stream into the country, which want to be entertained and supplied. Locals, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and public transport must be available, accessible and usable in sufficient numbers. These points will be assessed by the FIFA Review Committee, as well as the political, social and security situation. If the challenges of a World Cup can be mastered, the country can apply for the World Cup. In order to meet FIFA requirements, many corners are being rebuilt and renovated. In the end, however, it is worth holding a world championship. Both for the land and its inhabitants. One thing in which the World Championships in Russia left other World Championships far behind were the sums of sports bets. With no world championship yet, the odds were so profitable and the betting options varied – as can be read on www.openodds.com. In summary, the World Championship in Russia was a complete success for the country and the sport.