SPORT

Jun 18, 2018

Forget the underdogs, FIFA wants the big players in the next World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has already had its fair share of David and Goliath moments. But with hundreds of millions of soccer fans missing out on representation, won't somebody think of the advertisers?

Jason Murphy — Journalist and economist

Jason Murphy

Journalist and economist

Italy’s absence from the world Cup is a stunning blow. By drawing 0-0 with Sweden in Milan in November last year, the Italian national football team missed a trip to Russia for this 21st quadrennial contest to find the best team in world football.

The Azzurri let down not only the Milanese, the Romans, the Venetians; they let down the great Italian diaspora who now have to suffer through the first World Cup since 1958 without representation. They also let down Melbourne-based news editors who want a reliable World Cup story. Traipsing to Lygon Street in the early hours of the morning to document rabid fans is a tried and true manoeuvre for collecting World Cup colour pieces.

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