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The economics behind the World Cup

The World Cup is set to kick off. But what role do economics play?
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: June 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm •  Published: June 13, 2014

It’s time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Fans are celebrating, countries are watching and players are competing.

But what’s the economics behind it? What is the World Cup’s relationship with economics?

Well, economics cannot predict the World Cup winner, according to The Washington Post. Regular club teams — like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain — put a lot of money into their clubs, which leads to victories and winning seasons. But for the World Cup, the Post noted, it’s a very different scenario.

“In this regard, the World Cup is a refreshing contrast to club competition, where successful teams often depend on wealthy owners, and to the Olympics, where national income can often be used to forecast medal counts,” wrote Max Ehrenfreund for the Post.

No matter how much researchers try to look at economic reasons for a team to be successful at the World Cup, soccer is nowhere close to being predicted by a country's economic situation, Ehrenfreund wrote.

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