Qatar awarded 2022 World Cup over U.S.; Russia gets 2018 World Cup
Qatar, a tiny but wealthy Middle Eastern nation, was awarded the2022 World Cup, beating out the United States.
Qatar has pledged to put its massive oil revenues into theeffort, air conditioning entire stadiums that will have to be builtfor the tournament. It’s the first time the World Cup will go tothe Middle East. The average temperature in summer in Qatar is 122degrees.
The success of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa may have putsome voters at ease about making a risky move.
The United States was considered the safe choice for thetournament, though Australia also figured prominently as anotheremerging soccer nation.
One ramification is that this rules China out for the 2026 WorldCup. Qatar is part of the Asian confederation, and the tournamentcan’t be played consecutively on the same continent. that puts the2026 tournament in play, though there is a strong sentiment withinFIFA for having every other tournament in Europe, where the sportis most popular. FIFA clearly will want to tap the vast Chinesemarket at some point. The United States could make a bid for 2026,but if it doesn’t get that, it might not have a chance until 2034.But this is all way in the future.
The 2018 World Cup has been awarded to Russia. Russia won outover Netherlands/Belgium, Spain/Portugal and England. Russia hasthe weakest soccer lineage of those countries, at least in terms ofprofessional soccer. It’s the first time the tournament will beplayed in Eastern Europe.
The United States was one of five countries bidding for the2022 World Cup, along with Qatar, South Korea, Japan and Australia.The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, an event that setrecords for attendance.
The American bid stressed the country’s readiness andfacilities, with larger stadiums than any other country has alreadyin place, the country’s diverse population, it’s growing soccerpassion and the potential for vast profits to fund FIFA’s variousactivities.
The AP is reporting that England went out in the first round of2018 voting. It may have been in retaliation for English papersreporting about FIFA corruption claims.
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