FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018, Qatar 2022

Hosts chosen for football World Cups, England's bid thwarted.

Afp December 02, 2010


Russia and the tiny Gulf state of Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after an acrimonious bidding war marred by allegations of corruption and illegal deal-making.

The bombshell conclusion to two years of frenzied lobbying saw Fifa supremo Sepp Blatter reveal the winners after a secret ballot of 22 Fifa executive committee members in Zurich.

The announcement means the World Cup will be staged in two countries which have never hosted the event before following the 2014 tournament in Brazil. Russia prevailed in the 2018 race, upsetting England and bids from Spain and Portugal, and Belgium and the Netherlands.

Putin gives temporary worries

The outcome represented a stunning comeback for Russia, whose campaign had believed to be in trouble after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declined to join the lobbying effort in Zurich. Putin had also launched a stinging attack on England’s bid on the eve of the vote, accusing the country’s media of “smearing” officials.

But the shock of the day came in the 2022 race, where Qatar beat off competition from the US, Australia and South Korea and Japan in a remarkable result. Qatar 2022 bid president Mohammed bin Hamadal Thani promised, “We won’t let you down. You will be proud of us, proud of the Middle East.”

Qatar’s win came despite reservations being raised about the logistical problems of staging the tournament in the searing heat. Although the Qataris have promised to build an array of state of the art stadia which are climate-controlled, the technology has never been tested on a large-scale before.

England bid team dejected

England 2018 officials declined to respond to the criticism, but were left dejected after launching a heavyweight increasingly optimistic after lobbying offensive led by Prime Minister David Cameron, heir to the throne Prince William and football icon David Beckham. All three men took to the stage to appeal for the tournament.

“I love football, we love football and that’s why it would’ve  been such an honour to host it,” said Prince William. Beckham apologised to his countrymen and said, “Apologies we couldn’t bring the World Cup to our country. There are no more passionate fans in the world than England.”

Controversial votes

The results brought the curtain down on the most controversial World Cup votes in years, with Fifa facing myriad of allegations of corruption which led to two executive committee members being suspended. Blatter acknowledged that the decision to stage votes for two tournaments at the same time was a mistake, making illegal horse-trading between bids inevitable.

Qatar’s Hamadal Thani

“We won’t let you down. You will be proud of us, proud of the Middle East as we host the World Cup. We are offering Fifa a historic opportunity to expand the frontiers of the World Cup.”

Russia’s Igor Shuvalov

“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 as we host the World Cup.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2010.


stuntman | 11 years ago | Reply I think Qatar is going to have the shock of it's enitre history when millions of europeans get to their country and act exactly like they do at every other world cup. Hooliganism (I don't condone it but it happens), people walking around without tops on, drinking, men and women kissing in public and possible homoseuality....all things which don't really happen in Muslim countries. Above all I can't see Qatar jailing millions of people because thats what theyll have to do if they go my the letter of their own Sharia laws. Should be interesing I think Qatar might have got the wrong end of the bargain in this deal in more than one way.
Naumaan | 11 years ago | Reply Its fantastic news and lets see how Qatar will manage as Middle East is famous of its hot weather too. World Cup 2022: Qatar to use cruise ship for World Cup accommodation
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ


Most Read