Monday, July 12, 2010
Spain's World Cup victory yesterday was the latest of a PR triumph for soccer. Only the Olympics come close to the sports fever that sweeps countries when the World Cup matches are played. The growth of both events was gradual and took decades, but today the role of both organizations is to protect image, to keep a good thing going without scandal or other action that would scar the populist flavor of the events. It is hard to do. The Netherlands team, for example, was gathering yellow cards yesterday at a fast clip in play that was dirty. Such win-at-all-costs approaches can tar the game in time. FIFA authorities will need to address it along with better officiating. Still, as a PR event, the matches were priceless. Congratulations to Spain.