Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Send in the lawyers

Sports Law Practice Launched To Take Advantage Of 2022 FIFA World Cup And Other Middle Eastern Opportunities

The FIFA World Cup scheduled to take place in Qatar is still 9 years away. However, based on the recent flurry of attention paid to the future event and its hosting country, one may think the eventual event is fast approaching. There are concerns about the living and working conditions for migrant workers commissioned to develop the country’s infrastructure in advance of the 2022 World Cup and less-serious discussions concerning the contemplated design of the future stadium that will host the games. Lawyers are typically called upon in periods of controversy, and it is largely based on the increased scrutiny attached to Qatar along with an anticipated massive investment in the country’s infrastructure (one estimate obtained by FORBES states that the total cost is expected to reach $220 billion by the time the 2012 FIFA World Cup takes place). ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Forbes.

Kicking Back Comments: This is really fascinating to me actually. Now on the surface this would seem a bit transitory, or at least a significant hedge of a "post World Cup" effect ... which is very real. Take a look at US history for an example. In 1994 the World Cup was played here, a deal made with FIFA in 1988 that the US would have a viable professional league. In 1996 MLS launched, and by many accounts is still going strong. Hard to believe it will be 20 years soon.

Now for Al Tamimi & Company to set up a firm dedicated to such matters is interesting, but would seem speculative on only a World Cup ... there is this however:

"However, there are additional promising signs including but not limited to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report that pits the Middle East as a prime emerging sports market worth in excess of $40 billion based on annual revenues and with an estimated growth rate of 4.6% (sponsorship being identified as one of the fastest growing segments). The time may be ripe for a specialized Sports Law practice."

Yeah, that's Billion with a "B" ...

It's a fascinating prospect honestly. It also makes me wonder if FIFA will use their services to act as their "strong arm" in the "FIFA Courts" that will be set up in the region as well.

Either way, it's good business.

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