Ok so final the results were out from Zurich and the hosts for the FIFA WorldCup 2018 and 2022 have been declared
Just as I was hoping Russia and Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup for 2018 and 2022 respectively, this means 2 new countries who never hosted the Tournament before gets their first chance to show the world what they have to surprise us with.
Russia beat competition from England, Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. Deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov celebrated by saying: “You have entrusted us with the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and I can promise, we all can promise, you will never regret it. Let us make history together.”
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad Al-Thani said: “On behalf of millions of people living in the Middle East, thank you. Thank you for believing in us, thank you for having such bold vision. Thank you also for acknowledging this is the right time for the Middle East. We have a date with history which is summer 2022.”
Previosuly Tom Adams from ESPN prepared a contenders’ profile which can be viewed here, where he states the strength, weakness and the likelihood to win for each of the contenders.
For: Russia’s powerful state can deliver all of FIFA’s expectations in terms of government guarantees. With formidable political support, there are no budgetary concerns and Russia’s bid has worked hard to make friends and influence people. Amongst all the 2018 bids, Russia offers the greatest opportunity for a lasting legacy and sending the World Cup east would represent a new frontier being breached for FIFA – something that appeals greatly to the organisation. Blatter has said the Russian bid is “remarkable” and that “Russia has big plans to expand”.
Against: FIFA’s inspectors graded the bid as a medium operational risk as extensive investment is still needed in infrastructure, while the lengthy distances between host cities has seen air transport rated as a high risk. Russia’s bid has also been dogged by spats with England’s, while it has struggled to shake off accusations that racism remains a residual problem amongst Russian fans, especially following the banner from Lokomotiv Moscow supporters that abused Peter Odemwingie following his move to West Brom. As the ballot day nears, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has confirmed he will not travel to Zurich, which may weaken the bid’s last-gasp lobbying.
Chances: Currently the favourite to win FIFA’s nomination, the Russian bid has been working hard to court bids from across the globe and could have support in key areas. It is reported that Germany’s influential exco representative, Franz Beckenbauer, has pledged his vote to the Russian team while Asia could provide a strong source of backing, meaning Russia could already have as many as eight votes in the bag.
For: In the gas-rich country, money is no object and this has been reflected in an impressive campaign that has boasted of the development of state-of-the-art stadia and has pulled in stellar support from the likes of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and legendary Frenchman Zinedine Zidane. Indeed, it is said that a high-profile television campaign involving the former Real Madrid star is influencing perspectives. Qatar is also nicely placed for global television revenue and taking the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time would be a real source of pride for FIFA, and provide a genuine legacy.
Against: FIFA says Qatar’s punishing summer heat, with temperatures possibly reaching 50 degrees Celsius, could be a “potential health risk for players, officials, the FIFA family and spectators”. FIFA is also concerned that ten of the 12 stadia will be located in a cluster with a radius of 25-30 km. Qatar also claims it has been the victim of “unethical resistance” and a dirty tricks campaign, as allegations of collusion with Spain/Portugal were unproven.
Chances: Very good. Qatar is currently the favourite to secure the 2022 World Cup and it is expected that it will secure support from Spain, as well as votes from Africa, South America and Asia. Julio Grondona, head of the Argentinean FA, is known to be a supporter and FIFA could well agree with Zidane’s belief that “we had the 2010 World Cup in Africa and now it is time for the Middle East.”
So all in all I guess there were a lot of happy people and a lot of unhappy people, happy people in the winning nations and unhappy people in the countries that didn’t get to host especially in England and Australia.