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  • There are a lot of things that money can buy,

  • but one thing it can't is success at the World Cup.

  • Chinese soccer fans know that only too well.

  • The football team of the world's second largest economy was beaten in a World Cup

  • qualifier by war-torn Syria, which has no training facilities or home ground to host games.

  • The loss, which came in spite of China spending $600 million on football in 2016,

  • enraged Chinese fans so much that they took to the streets to protest.

  • I hope I can see China someday win the World Cup.

  • Before I die, I mean. Maybe in about 100 years?

  • But there are plenty of other examples in the world of football where high-income

  • countries and developing countries are neck-and-neck in football prowess.

  • For instance, in FIFA rankings Peru is ranked just ahead of Denmark,

  • but the South American country's gross national income per person

  • is roughly 1/10th of Denmark's. Of this year's 32 countries qualifying for

  • the World Cup, half are from high-income countries and the other half are not.

  • Denmark's gross national income is a whopping 50 times more than the

  • poorest in the 32, Senegal at less than $1,000 per person.

  • This World Cup, underdogs have also surprised teams perceived to be superior

  • to them in football, and much much richer.

  • Football seems to be an exception in sports. In the Olympics, economists

  • have generally found that the richer a country gets, the more medals it wins.

  • That's why economic superpowers like the United States and China

  • dominate Olympic medal tallies.

  • You may think a bigger country increases its chances of winning medals.

  • But population size doesn't explain why China, Indonesia and India, which make up

  • 40% of the global population have won only about 8% of the Olympic medals up for grabs.

  • That's where a country's wealth matters. GDP per capita has been proven to have

  • a positive effect on medal counts, which makes sense as a richer population will

  • have more time for sports and be able to enjoy better facilities.

  • The strong relationship between Olympic medals and economic indicators meant

  • that economists at Dartmouth University were able to predict total medal counts

  • for the 2012 London Olympics with 98 percent accuracy.

  • Football fans already know that the World Cup is full of surprises.

  • So they'll be relieved to hear that even economists can barely predict the World Cup.

  • At any given World Cup, I think the probability is as well determined

  • by the Octopus than any economist or a market analyst.

  • But DBS economist Taimur Baig, who has studied the relationship between

  • World Cup success and a country's economy said that countries which

  • can invest in good football infrastructure and football talent do better.

  • But money isn't the only solution.

  • I think China is a very good cautionary tale. It's not the quantity but

  • the quality of investment. You just can't throw a lot of money and bring in

  • superstars from outside to change the culture of football.

  • You have to focus on the kids. You have to focus on the coaches of the kids.

  • That economic variation is not stopping economists from trying to predict

  • a country's World Cup prospects. PwC used historic data on

  • 56 countries which played at least six World Cup finals matches.

  • As you might expect, there's no correlation between population and

  • World Cup success, which is why the most populous countries like China and India

  • have not made the World Cup finals.

  • However, having more registered players in the country does mean better football.

  • Germany, for instance, benefits from a six million strong pool of registered football

  • players which is one of the largest in the world. In comparison, the United

  • States has just about four million registered players, although its

  • population is about four times the size of Germany's.

  • It's hard to quantify love for football. But public love for the sport

  • translates into better football.

  • PwC used attendance at football matches as a proxy for love for the game,

  • and it found that high public interest can explain the success of countries like

  • Germany, England and Spain which have the highest football match attendances.

  • Clubs in these three countries are leaders in global spending on football.

  • But China is fast becoming the new and richest kid on the block.

  • While spending in England rose by 128 percent between 2012 and 2016,

  • spending in China went up by 785 percent.

  • That's helped it to rise from 88th place in 2012 to 75th this year,

  • just behind Syria and South Africa.

  • At the Olympics, countries can invest in foreign athletes to boost their medal counts.

  • Qatar spent $1 million for the entire weightlifting team of Bulgaria and got a

  • bronze medal for it while Bahrain's Olympic track and field team is

  • primarily made up of runners from Kenya and Ethiopia. But for footballers

  • choosing your national team isn't really about dollars and cents.

  • That's partly because FIFA requires the player to have lived in that country for

  • at least five years. But also because players make most of their salary

  • playing professional football in clubs.

  • In fact, many of the foreign-born players at this World Cup were born in Europe, a region

  • with relatively high income per capita, but many of them played for Africa,

  • which is comparatively less developed. Of the 82 footballers playing for countries

  • they weren't born in, nearly half were born in European countries like France and the Netherlands.

  • But now play for countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal.

  • And the barrier to entry in football isn't expensive, unlike sports like horse riding or sailing.

  • So, what do you call something you can't buy? The beautiful game.

  • Hey everyone, it's Xin En. Thanks for watching! If you want to check out more

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There are a lot of things that money can buy,

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ワールドカップの成功はお金で買えるのか?| CNBCレポート (Can money buy World Cup success? | CNBC Reports)

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    PENG に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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