Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World Cup 2018 and 2022 right around the real drama

Today, in Zurich, a number of hopeful nations made their presentations to FIFA pleading their case as to why whey should host either the 2018 or the 2022 World Cups. The 2018 version will take place in Europe - with Holland/Belgium, Spain/Portugal, Russia and England all vying for the right to host the globe's biggest sporting event. For 2022, the World Cup will find itself in a non European or South American nation with Qatar, USA, South Korea, Japan and Australia bidding for the the World Cup. Of course as always with anything involving Sepp Blatter and FIFA there have been bribery and other unsavory allegations. Shocking. So who should win the bids?

Last time England hosted...they won!
Even with all the allegations I cannot imagine England not securing the 2018 World Cup. England, the self proclaimed birth place of the game, have only hosted the tournament once - 1966. They did host the European Cup in 1996, which by all accounts was well run and went very smoothly. Russia is an interesting candidate, their football has shown itself to be very strong both at the club and country level, and I am sure they and Putin are itching to demonstrate the world that they can hold such an event. The other European bids are curious. Holland/Belgium hosted the Euros in 2000 and did admirably but not sure they are ready to receive another major tournament when others have not had their chances. Spain/Portugal is also interesting. I actually think that had Spain entered on their own they would have a better chance. Spain has not had a major footballing event on their home turf since the 1982 World Cup...ah the memories...Sevilla still haunts me! Yet, Portugal hosted the Euros in 2004, so again not sure if FIFA will award to a nation that has had a major tournament in recent history when others, Russia and England, have not. So with all the bribery scandals and shenanigans, England will still get to host its second even World Cup

"MLS better than EPL" will shout out Lalas
The 2022 World Cup will also go to a no-brainer bid....USA. Granted by 2022, China or India might be the richest nations and the ones with the most consumers, but right now they are not. So FIFA will be licking their chops at the possibility of hosting the World Cup in the biggest market in the world and all the revenue they will reap. Plus they will have 11 years of marketing and sales to take advantage of! Australia would be a good option, but I think that with regards to location (travel for fans), time zones and infrastructure they will find themselves at a disadvantage. South Korea and Japan (separate bids) will suffer the same as does Portugal, Holland and Belgium, they have hosted a major tournament. Also, there is a rumor that China is interested in bidding for the 2026 World Cup, I doubt they will lose that bid, therefore FIFA would not want two Asian hosts in back to back World Cups - putting Japan, South Korea and to some extent Australia at major disadvantages. Qatar....that is an interesting bid. They clearly have the resources to host the event. However, when is the last time Qatar qualified for a World Cup? Um right. Never. We all mocked South Africa as a weak host nation, and they were better than expected but still failed to qualify for the second round, what if Qatar were a host nation? They might not even score a goal! Then again they might have nationalized the Brazilian B team by then so would have a chance! Bottom line, the money is too good in the US bid, the MLS has been a decent professional league (don't forget when the US last hosted the World Cup the MLS was just getting off the ground) and the US men's national side has proven itself at the last few World Cups.

I think tomorrow's announcement will be very anticlimactic, granted many thought Paris was a shoe-in for the Olympics only to have Chirac and his big fat mouth give the bid to London. Chicago was also though to be a no brainer and they lost out in the first round for the 2016 version. I think the US is a lock for 2022 and England a virtual lock for 2018....unless Putin leveraged some of his KGB tactics.


Anonymous said...

surprise surprise. Blatter's organization is the most corrupt on the planet. No other way to explain Qatar's successful bid.

GFC said...

Ha I agree...look for my rant on this later today