Soccer-mad Asia falls short again in World Cup

Soccer-mad Asia falls short again in World Cup

SCMP Editorial

Japan
Japan and three other Asian teams qualified among the 32 teams that went to Brazil, but failed to advance to the last 16. Photo: EPA

Thanks to the suspension of a player for biting an opponent, theatrical feigning of injury that plagues the sport and disrespectful behaviour towards referees, there may be cause to reflect during this World Cup on the description of soccer as “the beautiful game”. But any argument about whether it is the world game is confounded by an enigmatic piece of trivia as the tournament advances to the elite round of 16 – the teams who will fight it out for the World Cup in play-offs climaxing in the final two weeks from today. The puzzle is that even though Asia, home to half the world’s population and to hotbeds of soccer fever including China, will not have a team among the 16, Asians will still account for a slab of the global audience. That meets the definition of world game.

But how much more of a world game it would be if Asia had at least one representative – with due respect to the footballing wizards of Europe and South America. In that sense it is lamentable. But it has always been more or less so. This year four teams from the Asian qualifying region – Japan, South Korea, Australia and Iran – qualified among the 32 teams that went to Brazil but failed to advance to the last 16. In 2010 Japan and South Korea advanced but did not make the quarter finals. In 2006 Australia also made the last 16 and were knocked out. In 2002 Japan and South Korea advanced in a tournament they jointly hosted, with the latter reaching the semi-finals, and China made its first and only appearance at the World Cup.

Venue plays a part, with countries from the host continent or region tending to do well. African teams do better than Asian ones, perhaps because more of their players take part in top European leagues. The next World Cup is in Russia, which does not bode well for Asian countries. Perhaps a way forward in the long run lies in Asia pushing for more exposure of teams and individuals to top foreign competition – in the case of China’s players, outside the rigid state sports system, in much the same way as tennis grand slam winner Li Na reached the top. After all, winning teams are built around individual stars.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Soccer-mad Asia falls short again

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 June, 2014, 5:27am

UPDATED : Sunday, 29 June, 2014, 5:27am

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1542599/soccer-mad-asia-falls-short-again-world-cup

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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