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The Worst Hosts

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    The Worst Hosts

    At lunchtime, I advised a mate to place a bet, should one be available, on the current Russian team finishing up as the worst team from a host nation in the tournament's history. This was before I remembered that they were "drawn" in a group with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. I'd imagine they will at least beat Saudi. But, in terms of quality if not points, who have been the worst team to host an international tournament that you can recall? South Africa in 2010, maybe? I really can't remember how their tournament panned out.

    #2
    Out in the group stage, but if I recall it was a tough group made up of France, Mexico and Uruguay.

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      #3
      It was indeed - but the hosts at least managed to finish on a high by beating the French.

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        #4
        Austria didn't exactly set Euro 2008 on fire.

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          #5
          Mexico in 1970 really weren't very good. They squeezed out a 0-0 against a mediocre USSR, beat a poor Belgian side 1–0 and hammered El Salvador. But were dispatched by Italy, whose players barely broke a sweat in the first knock-out round.

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            #6
            Spain were poor in 1982; in a weak group, needed the ref to make some dubious decisions just for them to make the 2nd phase.

            But I don't think a WC host has ever failed to win a game, whereas Poland in 2008 and Austria in 2012 had that distinction. Austria is probably the correct shout; infact, I'm struggling to think of a worse European team in any tournament I have seen.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Sean of the Shed View Post
              Out in the group stage, but if I recall it was a tough group made up of France, Mexico and Uruguay.
              Yeah, third on four points, level with Mexico in second. Some Bafana fans might still claim that they were robbed by the ref against Uruguay with the controversial sending off of goalie Khune (I reckon Luis Suarez deliberately tripped over his feet) in the 76th minute at 0-1. But even SA never looked like scoring before that, and wouldn't have afterwards. They still would have gone out on goal difference.

              Besides, Dikgacoi should have been off earlier for bloodying Suarez mouth. I say the ref knew what kind of shit Suarez would pull over the next weeks and years, and considered Dikgacoi's assault a service to the future.

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                #8
                Anyway, measuring the OP question simply by points might not be enough, in itself. Performance must be measured against realistic expectations. You'd expect Brazil to be the leading contender for a home tournament, but you wouldn't expect South Africa or Austria to win World Cups or Euros they host. OTOH, nobody thought Germany were a leading contender to win the 2006 WC; the team just wasn't as good as the other usual suspects. The semi-final was par.

                In my football-following lifetime (I exclude Euro 1976, which was really just two semi-finals):

                Fulfilled potential and more
                West-Germany 1974
                France 1984
                Sweden 1992
                France 1998
                South Korea 2002

                Reached par
                Italy 1980
                Mexico 1986
                West-Germany 1988
                Italy 1990
                USA 1994
                England 1996
                Netherlands 2000
                Japan 2002
                Portugal 2004
                Germany 2006
                South Africa 2010
                Brazil 2014
                France 2016

                Underperformers
                Spain 1982
                Austria 2008
                Ukraine 2012

                Disaster hosts
                Belgium 2000
                Switzerland 2008
                Poland 2012

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                  #9
                  Hosts have collectively underperformed in the sense that France is the only country to have won a WC or Euros as hosts since 1978.

                  Some of those "reached par" countries went out to countries they should have beaten (I'd say 1980, 1990, 2004 and 2016) whilst Brazil 2014 only "reached par" if you exclude the manner of the 7-1 defeat. OTOH out of that list, only 2004 had a shock winner, whilst 1980 had a surprise runner-up (you also have to qualify it with 1980 having an unsatisfactory group format: Italy went out unbeaten (as they did in 1990 if you exclude pens).

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Amor de Cosmos View Post
                    Mexico in 1970 really weren't very good. They squeezed out a 0-0 against a mediocre USSR, beat a poor Belgian side 1–0 and hammered El Salvador. But were dispatched by Italy, whose players barely broke a sweat in the first knock-out round.
                    Yeah, but it was the first time that Mexico had ever got out of the group stages. In fact I'm not sure they'd even won a group game before 1970.

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                      #11
                      I thought this was going to be a thread about visiting gay fans getting a welcome from the enlightened local fan groups.

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                        #12
                        Saving that thread for Qatar 2022.

                        But, yeah, the homophobia would be a legitimate reason to ban the Russians from hosting. OTOH how many of the 32 participating countries have a good record on gay rights: Denmark, maybe?

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                          #13
                          I think quite a lot of countries have a good current record on gay rights (although for most of them that is a relatively recent development). Attitudes within those countries may not be so enlightened.

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