Russia Wins Bid to Host 2018 World Cup
Russia was selected to host the 2018 World Cup on Thursday in a secret ballot by FIFA’s 22 executive members. FIFA, the governing body for football (soccer to us Americans), met in Zurich, Switzerland to decide the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Spain/Portugal, England, Netherlands/Belgium, and Russia were the four countries with hopes of winning the bid. In order for a country to win the selection they have to obtain absolute majority, meaning they have to win at least 12 votes in a round. In each round of voting the country with the lowest vote total is eliminated and voting continues until a country has absolute majority.
In the first round of voting for the 2018 World Cup no country reached the majority so England was eliminated after receiving only 2 votes. In round two of voting, Russia received majority by obtaining 13 votes and they were announced as the host of the 2018 tournament.
In a televised interview after the announcement, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, “Russia loves football, Russia knows what football is an in our country we have everything to conduct the 2018 World Cup on a very worthy level.” The 2018 World Cup will be the first time Russia has hosted the international tournament. The vote for Russia seems to keep with FIFA’s desire to grow the sport of football in all countries. Russia will know begin to work on renovating stadiums and preparing for the 2018 tournament.
Qatar Triumphs Over the U.S in Bid for 2022 World Cup
The 22 executive members were also in Zurich to decide on the host country for the 2022 World Cup. There were 5 countries bidding to host in 2022. Japan, South Korea, Australia, Qatar, and the United States were all being considered. Voting for the 2022 World Cup took 4 rounds before the Middle Eastern country of Qatar won with a majority vote.
Australia was eliminated in the first round, followed by Japan and South Korea in rounds two and three. In the fourth round of voting Qatar received 14 votes to 8 for the United States and were announced as the host for 2022. The outcome was very disappointing to the United States who last hosted the World Cup in 1994. Qatar will host for the first time and the decision in their favor is being viewed as an opportunity to expand the game of football into new countries. This will be the first time in Middle Eastern country has hosted the event.
Where is Qatar?
Qatar is a small Middle Eastern country in the Persian Gulf. The oil-rich country has a population of less than 2 million people but has a thriving economy. The country will now begin on some major construction projects to prepare for the 2022 World Cup in order to host the games and the fans from all over the world. Part of Qatar’s bid was a promise to increase the amount of hotel rooms in their country from 50,000 to 95,000 before 2022. Qatar will also be renovating three stadiums and building nine new facilities before hosting the tournament. The summers in Qatar are extremely hot, so all stadiums will be climate controlled and are expected to be state of the art.
The 2014 World Cup
After a successful 2010 World Cup in first time host South Africa, the focus now turns to 2014 host Brazil. 2014 will mark the second time Brazil has hosted, the last time being in 1950.