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Does Tuesday’s “Kick Off” Put the US in the 2018 Drivers Seat?

Upton Park tube station 2005 12 101 300x225 Does Tuesdays Kick Off Put the US in the 2018 Drivers Seat?

With the ugly scenes outside and within Upton Park now etched in the minds of football fans globally, does this give the US an expected World Cup 2018 boost? Was Tuesday also the fatal day the English FA will look back upon and say that the World Cup was lost?

The harsh reality of England’s bid was that despite the outstanding efforts of the FA and Law Enforcement to root out the most vicious and dangerous firms over the past twenty years, hooligans are still perceived as a problem in the country.  I have spoken to many non Englishmen in the last year and a half who still have doubt about the hosting of such a large and multi-ethnic event in the country. Central London, is one thing, but other parts of the city and certainly other parts of the country is another thing entirely in the eyes of some foreigners.

While it is true that none of these people are voting members of FIFA, they do represent a potpourri of opinions from football fans outside of Europe. It should be recalled, however that England successfully hosted the Euro 96 tournament without incident.

It is also somewhat unfair to single out England for violent actions around football matches. At this point in time Eastern Europe, Italy, South America and parts of Africa have far more regular violence associated with the game. But, it is England that is viewed by many as the center of “firm” organization and development. Firms throughout the rest of the world have often been developed on an English model, based on the success of groups associated with English clubs.

Here in the United States, our top division Major League Soccer and the US Soccer Federation have done an outstanding job of limiting any anti-social behavior from elements that may gather in and around football matches. The United Soccer Leagues have had some problems in the lower divisions of the game in this country, but by and large have also joined MLS in containing any potential trouble. When trouble shows up in MLS, it is quickly dealt with. The Houston Dynamo, in particular have led the way on this front.

With this in mind, has the United States now overtaken England as the 2018 favorite? Or is this an open door for Australia, or another European nation not as closely associated with hooliganism to challenge for the winning bid? What does England need to do to regain the initiative and put Tuesday’s events firmly in the rear view mirror?

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, World Cup 2018. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Does Tuesday’s “Kick Off” Put the US in the 2018 Drivers Seat?

  1. Lars says:

    I realize what happened was a tragedy, but England will not lose the 2018 bid because of it.

    Was there Large Scale Violence? Yes.

    Was there a stabbing? Yes.

    But, isn’t this a huge improvement on what was there before? Definitely.

    Football violence is on a downward trend and the two clubs involved are known for having quite possibly the worst Football Firms in England and the world. The fact that there was only one stabbing should be seen as a positive. Now, granted, any type of violence is bad, but I think the way people should be looking at this as a bonus that it wasn’t worse than it already was.

    On the positive side, if they do lose the World Cup because of it, the US will be bumped up, which will be amazing for the game in CONCACAF, and, hooliganism will likely be stamped out even further in the UK because of idiocy like this.

  2. Lars says:

    Oh, and as for MLS dealing with instances of hooliganism, I think they’ve done a poor job in Columbus, where TFC was blamed for instances of hooliganism instigated by Columbus firms. They attacked our fans as we left the stadium, and then we were blamed for it.

    Now they won’t let us take banners or flags into their stadium, and we basically can’t support our club because MLS and Columbus has no idea how to handle stadium security for football. Look to Montreal or Toronto for how to handle stadium security in football.

    When I went to the Montreal Miracle, we were kept from leaving the stadium for nearly an entire hour, while the police and security ensured that it was safe for us to leave without being attacked or harassed by Montreal supporters. Not one incident of hooliganism, despite the Montreal-TFC rivalry being bigger than the Columbus-TFC rivalry.

    • Matthew N says:

      What a joke… I was at this game.. The people from TFC were just complete apes. The TFC people came to Columbus looking for trouble.. there are never any problems with the Columbus regulars. And please, base your entire opinion about one team based on one anecdote. I’ve been to international games, MLS matches, etc. all at Crew Stadium and never even seen a fight. Hell, the day those TFC fans were throwing flares and stuff onto the field it was actually a better environment than normal… The TFC fans were the ones trying to disrupt the game, throwing things onto the field, etc. Please spread your lies elsewhere.

      • Lars says:

        Yeah, because TFC fans were really waiting at the Columbus exits, attacking Columbus fans. Get your facts straight. I saw the flares, but what happened after the game was Columbus’ fault. There’s no doubt in my mind about that, especially since it happened at our exit, and not yours. Your supporters had no business being there.

  3. Nick Davies says:

    Has not affected Poland or Ukraine, just it’s media gold in the UK.

  4. kenwright says:

    west ham/millwall fans are just typical cockney wankers giving the sport a bad name across our nation, once again. i presumed the rest of the world already understood this.. fry them all i say.

  5. Lowell says:

    Milwall… need one say more?

    BTW, this sounds like as good a time as any to throw “The Football Factory” into the DVD player and enjoy.

  6. Tom says:

    I hope not. I’m American, but I think US should get the world cup in 2022 at the earliest. We just hosted a World Cup in ’94, we should not get a cup only 24 years later. Yeah, I know Mexico hosted cups in ’70 and ’86, but the second one was not planned. The 2018 World Cup should go to Europe, either Enland, Spain/Portugal or Holland/Belgium; the tournaments in Europe are so much more accessable to fans here in America and much of the world due to the central location of Europe, the infrustructure, and the small size of the countries.

  7. Will says:

    I;m not sure if this event is really going to have a long term effect but i think the so called “Summer of Soccer” has had much to do with the US becoming a comtender in 2018.

    fifa has recognized a growth in the game here and it might just sway their minds.

    The only thing lacking from the US bid from making it a perfect bid was fan support and thats growing everyday

    • The Gaffer says:

      I disagree. Fan support is not an issue. More tickets were sold for World Cup 94 than any other World Cup tournament. And a large percentage of those people were Americans, not visitors.

      Don’t forget that the World Cup is all about making money. The US has massive stadiums, very little security concerns and a good transportation system, so it’s got as much of a chance of winning this tournament than England.

      Sadly, politics has a large role in deciding who wins World Cup bids (thank Sepp Blatter for that — there’s been quite a track record of messy dealings, just ask Andrew Jennings). So ultimately it comes down to whoever wants to grease the palms of Blatter and company.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Will says:

        We might sell the most tickets but fifa does question if we can embrace the tournament like other countries. Due to our large population we will sell out every game. thats not what I meant.

        Sunil Gulati has said himself that fifa has questioned if we can embrace the tourney and show the passion for the game like fans from other nations. my hope is by 2018 or 2022 our country is ready to embrace the tourney unlike anyother nation

  8. gmonsoon43 says:

    To add the The Gaffer’s comments, the US is also the leading country outside of South Africa for world cup ticket sales.

  9. DoublePivot says:

    The Gaffer is right. 12 stadiums in the USA have greater capacity than Wembley Stadium. By the time you get to the second biggest football ground (if we don’t include Twickenham) then there are 27 stadiums bigger than Old Trafford. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why FIFA are so desperate to get the games back here and would gladly use any excuse to take the games away from England and give them to the US.

    • Benchwarmer says:

      I don’t think FIFA worries too much about gate receipts when picking countries to host the WCF. Not when you get to flog the TV rights to an audience of 100s of millions.

  10. DoublePivot says:

    Also, take any nation in the world, and they have enough people living here that will go see their team play that we don’t even need travelers to really fill stadiums. Ivory Coast vs. Paraguay in the Rose Bowl? Take the cheap travel or Air Tran or Jet Blue and you could easily find 100k+ in Ivorians and Paraguayans living here that would travel to fill that stadium.

  11. Tom says:

    Also, if only 25% of Americans care, that is still more people than in England or Holland/Belgium or Australia or probably most of the other bidders. I still don’t want us to get 2018, it too soon; but I’m OK with 2022.

  12. Benchwarmer says:

    I hope we win the bid as I’m a proud citizen and I’d love nothing more than to go to the games and the boost it would give the MLS. Suggesting the rest of England outside of Central London would be intolerant to ethnicities is just plain ignorant. Nearly 35 percent of british citizens are not caucasian and virtually all aren’t in zone 1 of London. Interracial marriage there is many times higher than here.

  13. I’m not suggesting it- I know England well, but many others have suggested it to me which makes me believe a perception, though wrong has developed. It is a fact that the UK has done a better job of integrating their minorities than the USA over the past 40 years, but again I am speaking of perception.

  14. Benchwarmer says:

    “I’m not suggesting it- I know England well, but many others have suggested it to me which makes me believe a perception, though wrong has developed. It is a fact that the UK has done a better job of integrating their minorities than the USA over the past 40 years, but again I am speaking of perception”

    Sure and people in the rest of the world may perceive that people with black skin will be discriminated against south of the Mason Dixon line. Clearly that is ignorant too and FIFA would give it no stock – we got the WCF after all. It doesn’t speak well of the individuals you spoke to that they would apportion something as negative as xenophobia or racism to the majority of England without really knowing anything about the English.

    • I don’t disagree, and actually believe race relations in the Southern US are better than just about any place on the planet because of FORCED action by the federal government throughout a 50 year period. But, these South American and Africans believe their is a racial element to football firms in the UK (including the Scotland) and seem to take that perception (which again can be argued to be false. I’m not sure the English firms are racists) to the extreme. Then again, don’t quote me because I was one of the few people of Indian descent that defended Joey Barton’s brother when he was accused of murdering a South Asian. (He was later convicted)

      • Benchwarmer says:

        Saying firms might be /are racist has nothing to do with the ‘perception’ of the English being xenophobic. You offered a generalization that is patently false and now you are changing the parameters of the subject (even down to an individual). Of couse perceptions are subjective. Can I ask which countries your friends outside of their home continent they wouldn’t be afraid to host the WCF?

  15. A-RET says:

    Absolutely the worst piece and most ill informed by Kartik, EVER.

    You should stick to breaking down the tactics and the game as well as the TV coverage; you are good at that, but an indiot whenever you play social critic.

    So many fallacies and half truths with this piece, where do I start?

    The racist/xenophiobic card you play against England hiding behind Latins and Africans, all of whom hate England and have a 1920s stereotype of the place is a laughable. But others have dealt with that so let me deal with the US angle.

    Based on your previous writing and doing a quick google search on you, it is obvious you are a liberal. So am I. Do you think people going to town meetings, civil affairs in the UK, with guns in the US doesn’t scare foreigners? How about the birther movement? Does the UK have such a visible and clearly racist group that is so large?

    Now what about games here? What about the Crew fans shouting the N bomb on Dube and Joseph? What about the repreated incidents between Crew fans and TFC? What about the TFC fans smashing things on the Go trains? What about the incidents in Houston that you allude to? What about a Mexican fans being shot in the parking lot of the US-Mexico game? What about the numerous fights between Chivas USA and LA Galaxy fans in the parking lot that FOX’s Nick Webster reported about last year? What about the constant incidents in Portland at Timbers games?

    Add to this that the police in the UK actually know how to deal with rowdy football fans and American cops are clueless about the issue and we’re the one with the problem.

    Either you have your head in the sand or you are intentionally skewing reality to make MLS and US Soccer look good and England look bad.

    It’s kicked off here already. Stop shilling for US Soccer on something you have ZERO knowledge about.

    I like your analysis of the games but not this trash. Stop playing social critic.

  16. H John says:

    A-RET:

    England had 3,000 arrests last year under the football violence act. 3,000! We probably had about 50-100 related to football.

  17. erkle perkle werkle says:

    This is the most retarded thing I have ever read… do yourself a favour and only comment on American things, because you clearly fall well short with Europe and the rest of the world. it’s laughable in fact.

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