With the FIFA World Cup just days away, the excitement around the office has reached boiling point- or at least, we have drawn our sweepstake, crazy!
Thirty-two nations are hanging their hopes on a group of young men to bring them back football’s most prestigious trophy, the next month will see companies all around the globe try to tie their message in with the World Cup to capture the fever and we’re certainly no different. That’s why we bring you the Governance World Cup.
Every bit as fiercely contested as its soccer-playing equivalent, this World Cup will pit 12 country’s governance models against each other, to see which one really is the king of compliance and which countries might be better off concentrating on their regulations rather than their rabonas.
With FIFA’s well-documented chequered history when it comes to integrity of their competitions, we wanted to ensure that our competition remained on the moral high ground. The teams were picked based upon either their footballing prowess, or whether we have representatives based there so as not to upset anybody– I told you, moral high ground – with the groups being drawn by an independent adjudicator.
So, with that completed, we are pleased to bring you our competitors:
To determine the scores, we considered many options, but settled on three key indices to determine the scores. The World Governance Regulatory Quality Rank from the World Bank Group, the Transparency Index from Transparency International and finally, the Digital Competitiveness Index from the IMD World Competitiveness Center. These scores focus on their regulatory model and effectiveness, their transparency and their willingness to adopt new technologies and embracing the future.
Now we have the groups drawn and the rules laid out, without further ado, it’s time for kick off!
As with the real 2018 World Cup, it’s only right for the opening game to include this year’s host, Russia. In footballing terms, an opening game against serial winners Brazil couldn’t be much tougher, but how will they fair in our Governance World Cup?
Well, the result may have gone the way football fans would have anticipated, but the score itself was much closer than expected. Brazil score marginally higher in both the WGI score and the Transparency Index, but Russia pull one back through the IMD competiveness index to set up a nervy finish, but Brazil hang on to secure a 2-1 victory.
On to the next game which sees the host play their final group game against strong group favourites, Japan. This time, our plucky hosts struggle to hold back the Japanese attack as the favourites stroll to a comfortable 3-0 victory, sending the hosts packing without a point to their name.
Who says governance can’t create drama? Well actually, the news coverage of every scandal over the past 12 months would disagree anyway, but by Jove the Governance World Cup has it in spades. Group A’s final game is a straight head-to-head between Japan and Brazil to decide who goes through. Brazil haven’t had this much weighing on their shoulders since the semi-final in 2014. Sadly, they produce a similar display here, losing 3-0 versus an almost unstoppable Japan, who demonstrate their compliance nous as well as their technological know-how to easily dispatch the Selecao (Brazilian team for non-football nerds).
The opening game in Group B pits the South American perennial underdogs, Chile against the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, who have been no stranger to ethical controversies in recent years, so this should be an interesting match. Well, there is a turn up for the books. Chile take an early lead thanks to their World Governance Indicator score, but Qatar storm back to claim a 2-1 victory thanks to their Transparency Index and IMD World Competitiveness scores, proving there is work to do in South America.
Next up sees the first appearance of the footballing heavy-weights, and the holders of the FIFA World Cup, Germany. Lining up against Qatar you would expect to see a similar drubbing as for the footballing equivalent, and Germany sweep to a convincing 3-0 win.
The final group game looks like being a formality as Germany take on already defeated Chile, and sadly, there are no upsets to be had as Germany hand out another crushing 3-0 defeat as they press home their favourites tag thanks to greater digital aptitude and stronger compliance laws. They will surely take some beating; I think we’ve been here before….
The group that the office has been waiting for, the chance to see England (the UK really but this is the World Cup, not the Olympics, so no triumphant return for Team GB here) in action as they face, on paper, what could be a challenging group.
The opening game in this group sees England take on the hipster football fans’ favourite, Spain. At the football World Cup, there surely would be only one outcome here, but in this arena, this is where England shine. Strong governance laws and a willingness to embrace technology allows England to hand out a heavy 3-0 defeat to the Spaniards, reminiscent of Sven’s first game in charge many moons ago.
Spain immediately get a chance to redeem themselves as they come up against the remaining team in the group, Mexico. This time, the result goes the way that football talent would indicate, as it’s now Spain’s turn to run out comfortable 3-0 winners, further highlighting the disparity between Europe and Central/ South America in terms of transparency, technology and a strong good governance culture.
The final group game should throw up no surprises as England take on Mexico, and so it proves as England show their superiority once more with another 3-0 victory. England finishing the group strongly before heading into the knock out rounds, hmmm, sounds familiar.
The final group pits three teams who did not qualify for this summer’s show piece event in Russia and two of the world’s super powers against each other as China take on the USA, but that match up will have to wait as first the US have to take on South Africa, one of the up-and-coming powers of good governance.
Sadly though, this match shows that South Africa still have work to do despite their recent improvements in this area as the USA score higher across all three indices, leaving them comfortable 3-0 winners.
South Africa have a chance to demonstrate that the progress they have made is sizable almost immediately as they come up against China. Now, in footballing terms, I can’t imagine this game being top of any fans wishlist, but in our World Cup, this tie is a lot more interesting.
South Africa take an early lead thanks to the WGI score, whilst China are able to immediately pull level thanks to a much stronger digital competitiveness score. The Transparency Index however is where South Africa’s hard work pays off as they just pip China to the winning goal, securing a priceless 2-1 victory.
Finally, the two world super powers meet in a match that the business and financial papers of the world are clamouring to cover, but sadly for China, the match is over all too quickly as the USA make light work of dispatching their opponents with another clean sweep.
That’s the group stages complete of our Governance World Cup, and the semi-final line up is as follows:
Germany v Japan
USA v England
Four strong teams remain, so it will be interesting to see who prevails as they take a few days to rest and recover from their exertions before getting back down to business.
Join us shortly as we see who will win the Governance World Cup.