Poll: The Race for World Cup 2018-2022

Howdy everybody,
On December 2, FIFA will unveil the organising country of the World Cup 2018 and 2022. Sportcal put together a comprehensive document about the bidding countries, their strengths and weaknesses. The bidding process was a long mission where FIFA officials travel the world and visited the countries facilities.

The race started in January 2009, when FIFA invited countries to express an interest in staging its global showpiece, which involves 32 teams and comprises 64 matches. Having dispensed with the continental rotational policy under which South Africa was awarded the 2010 World  Cup and Brazil the 2014 tournament, the federation said that it would accept bids for the 2018 World Cup from all regions except South America and Africa and for the 2022 event from all regions except South America.

FIFA took the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups s imultaneously over seven years before the first event takes place to give the hosts plenty of time to complete preparations and to provide some certainty to encourage broadcasters and sponsors to negotiate early deals.

Bidders had to be able to deliver about 12 stadia with a capacity of at least 40,000 for group stage matches, and one stadium of at least 80,000 to stage the opening game and the final, and FIFA said that “the very highest standards of TV broadcasting , information and telecommunications technology, transport and accommodation are an absolute must.” In the event, FIFA received 11 initial bids from 13 countries representing three different confederations.

The contenders were: England, Russia, Netherlands- Belgium (joint bid) and Spain-Portugal (joint bid) from Uefa, European soccer’s governing body; Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea from the Asian Football Confederation; and

USA and Mexico from Concacaf, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

At first, all the countries were bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, withthe exception of Qatar and South Korea, which were focusing on the latter event. However, the number of bidders was reduced to 10 in September 2009, when Mexico, a two-time World Cup host, withdrew, citing the difficult economic climate and the cost of upgrading the country’s infrastructure. Indonesia, another outsider, was excluded in March of this year.

The country had already opted to channel its efforts on the 2022 World Cup, but dropped out altogether after failing to provide FIFA with the necessary guarantees from its government by a set deadline.

Japan, Australia and USA have since decided to focus their campaigns on securing the 2022 tournament, resolving that the 2018 event was likely to go to a European bidder, an assertion based on the fact that, by that time, the World Cup will not have been held in soccer’s predominant market for 12 years.

The nine remaining bidders for the two World Cups submitted their bid books to FIFA on May 14 and have since been presenting their credentials at events such as the FIFA Bidders Expo in Johannesburg, which preceded this year’s World Cup in South Africa.

There have also been visits to the bidding countries by an inspection team from FIFA, which was set to produce a technical report on its findings before December 2, when the eyes of the world will be on Zurich as the executive committee votes to decide the hosts. [Source: Sportcal.com]

Here is full Sportcal report.

So what do you guys think? Who will be hosting the World Cup in 2018 and 2022? Cast your vote!

Karl Lusbec