Friday, July 20, 2007

FIFA U-20: Travelogue

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will wrap up this Sunday, with the 3rd place and final matches to be played in Toronto. Last night's ugly incident involving, among others, the German referee, Argentinian and Chilean players, and the police, has marred the tournament somewhat, but it has been a success, setting an attendance record.

Hosting a nationwide event in Canada is different from most other countries of the world. In the last edition of this tournament, which took place across 6 cities in Holland, the largest distance between two cities (according to Google Maps) was the 308 km between Emmen and Kerkrade. By contrast, only Ottawa-Montreal and Burnaby-Vancouver were shorter commutes in the Canadian tournament, while the haul between Victoria and Montreal was near 5000 km.

Some countries had an arduous travel schedule. Austria, for instance had an itinerary of Edmonton - Toronto - Edmonton - Toronto - Edmonton - Toronto, a whopping 17330 km, with 5 cross-continent flights around 7 games.

Disregarding, for the time being, travel from the home country to Canada for the tournament, here is a table of travels for the participating nations.

Country Gms Itinerary Km
Austria 7 Edmonton -> Toronto -> Edmonton -> Toronto -> Edmonton -> Toronto 17330
Chile 7 Toronto -> Edmonton -> Toronto -> Edmonton -> Montreal -> Toronto 14939
Czech Republic 7 Ottawa -> Montreal -> Victoria -> Edmonton -> Toronto 9683
Mexico 5 Toronto -> Edmonton -> Montreal -> Ottawa 7631
Brazil 4 Montreal -> Ottawa -> Burnaby 5002
Nigeria 5 Victoria -> Ottawa -> Montreal 4965
Zambia 4 Burnaby -> Victoria -> Ottawa 4885
Gambia 4 Toronto -> Montreal -> Edmonton 4541
Portugal 4 Toronto -> Montreal -> Edmonton 4541
Uruguay 4 Burnaby -> Victoria -> Toronto 4447
Congo 4 Edmonton -> Montreal 3996
Canada 3 Toronto -> Edmonton 3466
New Zealand 3 Toronto -> Edmonton 3466
Argentina 7 Ottawa -> Toronto -> Ottawa -> Toronto 1356
Spain 5 Burnaby -> Edmonton 1147
USA 5 Montreal -> Ottawa -> Toronto 651
Poland 4 Montreal -> Toronto 545
Panama 3 Ottawa -> Montreal 199
Costa Rica 3 Victoria -> Burnaby 118
Scotland 3 Victoria -> Burnaby 118
Japan 4 Victoria 0
Jordan 3 Burnaby 0
Korea DPR 3 Ottawa 0
Korea Republic 3 Montreal 0

It should come as no surprise that Austria, Chile and Czech Republic who, along with Argentina, all played 7 matches, should make up the top 3. However, Argentina managed to record any significant travel, putting on under 1400 km. Spain played 5 matches, but only had to travel once, and USA made the final 8 only traveling 651 km.

Looking back to 2005, the theoretical maximum travel itinerary would have been only 1848 km (the actual number is probably much lower), which would have placed only halfway up this list.

In the end, it seems rather uneven, but Austria and Chile, who had the most difficult travel itineraries, still managed to make the final 4 so it might not have been so significant a factor. I suppose these are just numbers, a testament to the vast country that hosted the tournament.

1 comment:

knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here