Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hyundai and the Aussie Korean connection

Buried at the end of an article in the Sydney morning Herald about world cup bidding was this little tid bit hinting there is some sort of deal going on between Korea and Australia.

Coincidentally, FIFA announced that Korean motoring giant Hyundai had re-signed as a major sponsor in an extraordinary deal inked four years before the company's sponsorship was due to end. The chief shareholder in Hyundai, Chung Jong-Moon, is also the Korean voter on FIFA's executive committee, a FIFA vice-president and former head of the Korean Football Association.

I don’t think it takes an experienced diplomat to see this decision is possibly world cup bid related. I guess some people will be upset at such shiftiness but not me. For one, while I would prefer Australia to win I would be attending a world cup in either country if they are successful. . Having a world cup in the Korean time zone would still be huge for the game in OZ (as it was in 2002) and is probably the second best outcome. I really hope there’s even more to the story that just supposed preference swaps and that there might be a real alliance emerging. 

The A league recently missed out on an extra playoff spot for the ACL which against all reason went to Qatar (home of the current AFC president Bin Hammam) and Chung Jong-Moon has often been talked about as a challenger to Bin Hammam.  More ACL spots, more games against Japan and Korea these are two pretty large carrots that Chung Jong-Moon has. Bin Hammam on the other hand has been great for Australia, got us into the AFC and set us up host the Asian cup in 2015. Though I note the AFC have been holding out on confirming Australia as hosts despite us being the only bidder until after the 2022 world cup bidding decision has been made.

Does the above sponsorship deal have anything to do with this, maybe not but it's all part of the narrative and
interesting times ahead.

Bibliography – because hyperlinks are evil

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