Sweet sky

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By Henry G. Doble

Take Two

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


THE Germans are pointing one finger to the sky. After all, it is sweet being number one in the just concluded 2014 World Cup.

Add to that the sugar-coated $35 million, the largest prize in World Cup history and the chance to hoist the 18-carat gold trophy (as the expensive original remains with Fifa). Bringing home a cheaper replica would not matter much.

Spain, the 2010 WC winner, got $30 million and probably the champion in 2018 will get some more. No wonder football is the number one sport in the world. The more fans, the more money Fifa will handle.

For this five-week competition hosted by Brazil, Fifa will have a revenue of $4.5 billion from TV broadcasting, licensing, hospitality and sponsorships. The estimated $471 million distributed to participants is just an icing, not counting the share of Brazil for hosting the quadrennial event.

It cost the South American host an estimated $14 billion to build and renovate 12 stadiums, upgrade its infrastructures and pay security for the tournament. It is not clear, however, how much Brazil can get from its effort, but the participating teams and players' take are fixed.

Runner-up Argentina pockets $24 million for its effort. The Netherlands get $20 million for third place and Brazil $18 million plus the boos from its disappointed fans for finishing fourth.

The four losers in the quarterfinals bring home $14 million each while the eight losers in the Round of 16 have $9 million each. The 16 eliminated teams receive $8 million each.

All 32 teams have $1.5 million prior to the tournament for its training, travel, and miscellaneous expenses. Fifa has also set aside $70 million to pay the various clubs where the 736 players are employed at $2,800 per day while the player was in the World Cup.

Whew! We thought that just hanging out with friends to watch the World Cup early in the morning is just a routine. Now we know that those we watched in the playing fields have more incentive and motivation that an ordinary fan has.

Football is big business after all and everybody is reaching for the sky.

*****

Take Three. Today's opinion has nothing to do with SKY Cable's new front office at Lacson Street. It just so happened that I dropped by to pay my bill while good friend Fr. Naring de la Cruz was blessing SKY's cozy and customer- friendly edifice. SKY's officials and female employees were just too sweet to ignore and refuse their invitation for "sweets and minatamis." Thanks a lot and congratulations.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 15, 2014.

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