As you might know, the FIFA World Cup takes place every four years in a new country, the next World Cup will be in Brazil in 2014, and almost all of the 32 countries that will attend are classified already. Mexico, one of the countries where football could be only compared with a nationwide religion, will be the last team invited to the event.
There are a few countries where football is such a big thing, like Argentina, Brazil, England, Spain, and obviously, Mexico. The size of Mexico, its population and somehow steady middle and upper class, are variables that give the Mexican fans the chance to attend the World Cup for almost two weeks, pretty much the three first round matches and a next round match, even if Mexico doesn´t make it to the next phase.
However, the Mexican team struggled to qualify to this World Cup as it ended fourth in their confederation group and had to play against New Zealand for the last ticket to Brazil*.
In the meantime, during the uncertainty of Mexico´s attendance to the FIFA Challenge, journalists, analysts, politicians, and population in general, discussed how terrible for our country would it be if Mexico didn´t make it.
It was even compared to an economic crisis, a sociopolitical debacle, an outrage for our civilization, and obviously, an embarrassment that the United States team is going and Mexico isn´t.
Charts and graphics were presented to illustrate how the Mexican economy will shatter if Mexico fails to go to Brazil 2014, and they concluded with some sweet as statistical remarks:
- Mexico will lose USD$600 million for not attending.
- Sponsors will fail to reach their market
- Telefonica and Adidas have paid USD$45 million for a 4 years contract, losing most of the expected profit if Mexico doesn´t make it.
- Restaurants, bars and other stores will be heavily affected by this.
- The not renewal of commercial contracts by brands like Coca Cola, Visa, Ford, Roshfrans, Telefonica and Adidas.
Indeed, we can assume that Brazil 2014 is one of the most important events, not only for sports but for financial reasons, however, I´d like to conclude with something I´ve been thinking for a while, specially since Mexico lost against Costa Rica (damn!):
Any investor or financial analysist knows better when positioning their assets/cash, as one of the rules in economics is to diversify your investments. What I´m seeing here is that several companies and individuals concentrated their efforts towards one intangible active, a football team, and now the uncertainty is killing them. It´s a sure thing to bet on the Mexican soccer team if they go to Brazil, as there´s nothing easier than profit from the Mexican fans, a niche that blindly believes in football as the most important variable to determine the failure or success of Mexico as a strong nation. However, it is not the end of the world, and I´m sure these companies will think twice next time they put all their eggs in one badly built basket.
Ps1. The Mexican football team has shown no realistic project so far, I can say, without question, that Mexico will not make it to the next phase.
Ps2. In Mexico, the football players are seen as heroes or villains according to their performance, certainly the telly broadcasters like Televisa or TvAzteca are to blame, building up the idea that if Mexico doesn´t attend Brazil 2014 we´ve failed as a country.
*The match against New Zealand is tomorrow at midnight, however Mexico won 5-1 on the first match, and the Kiwis didn´t show much competition. Mexico is likely to win this set and attend Brazil 2014.