December 2nd, 2010
05:44 PM ET

Has FIFA gambled with World Cup decisions?

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to develop football around the globe. (AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to develop football around the globe. (AFP/Getty Images)

Just when we feared the old boys of FIFA might play it safe after “gambling” on fresh markets in 2010 with South Africa and then a long-awaited return to Brazil in 2014, they throw us for a loop and select two World Cup-hosting novices in Russia and Qatar. Brilliant!

During the months of wrangling over who said what to whom, and who asked who for what, it kind of got lost at times that the World Cup is a symbol of unity rather than an agent of divisiveness. But in choosing two first-timers to host, ruling body FIFA is reasserting the notion that football is a family in which each member at least has the opportunity to be an equal.

Russia’s choice as the host of the 2018 World Cup is perfectly logical. No country from the former Eastern Bloc has ever hosted a World Cup, and, though Russia/USSR has been present on the world football stage for many years, there’s still a feeling that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, economically speaking. As a result, FIFA, which takes the bulk of its revenue from the World Cup, was clearly not blind to the potential of another huge untapped market.

I’m obviously somewhat sad that my native England didn’t succeed, but I’m not surprised. In referring to England as “the mother country” of football, FIFA president Sepp Blatter may have encapsulated why the 1966 host didn’t get the nod. FIFA is all about breaking new frontiers at the moment, and maybe the English, for all their forward thinking and expertise in handling the sport, are still seen as just too traditional - which is kind of ironic given the criticism the FIFA Executive Committee has endured about being an old boys' club.

But clearly there’s life in the old dogs yet, as they then compounded their adventurous decision on 2018 by throwing caution to the wind in selecting Qatar for 2022. Like Russia, Qatar’s success represents a first, as no World Cup has ever been held in the Middle East. Indeed, only one World Cup has ever been held in Asia - the 2002 finals jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan.

I was given the chance to put Qatar’s case during our World Sport debate prior to the vote, and the more I looked into it the more it grew on me. A smaller World Cup host will increase the intimacy of the finals. Qatar will be cocooned in football for a month or so in 2022, and the atmosphere that creates within the country will have a knock-on effect for the TV audience.

Qatar has the money to implement its plans for technological and infrastructural improvements that will enhance the World Cup experience and compensate for those brutal summer temperatures which everyone thought would be a deal breaker.

It has a central geographical location for travel, and is in an excellent time zone for the big TV audiences in Europe, the United States and South America. It exists in a region where football is the main sporting passion, the lack of which may have contributed to the USA’s downfall in this World Cup vote.

But above all, Qatar has the cache of being uncharted territory, which not only puts a twinkle in FIFA’s eyes in terms of potential revenue, but also plays into the idea, trumpeted by Blatter in his preamble to the announcement, that football is more than just a game. And he's right, football can make a difference, and by choosing Russia and Qatar as hosts FIFA is once again hoping to show how much.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Emmanuel

    Considering the amount of racism in Russia, as a Nigerian why would I even think of going there for the world cup

    December 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  2. Juan

    I can understand the Russia bid. But Qatar??? A host nation should be a place where you would like to go travel and see the sights or history. I can picture myself going to Russia but never Qatar.The worst thing is that both locations are going to be extremely cost prohibitive. Good job Fifa. I hope the bribes were worth it. What a waste. Time to get Blatter out.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  3. Jay

    I really was surprised about FIFA choice of hosting nations for the WC in 2018 and 2022.
    Its really sad to see FIFA going for the money on both bids. The choice of Russia can at least look a tiny bit logical, but Qatar Come on !? I think Qatar’s national sport is hunting with falcon’s or something. I really hope for there sake that they can buy off some Brazilians to play for them so they can win a game. FIFA could have asked Saudi Arabia or UAE to submit a bid at least they have football history.
    $epp Blatter please give the sport back to the people that made it big: THE FANS!!!

    December 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  4. Jay

    I really think the 2022 World Cup should have been hosted here in the United States look how much the sport has grown in this country every year more and more people follow the sport and take part in it, it is a game that our youth play and with the MLS as our premier soccer league we are also getting a few International Superstars to play here take the likes of David Beckham of the LA Galaxy and Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls. This sport has grown so much in this country if they would have hosted the World Cup here I guarantee the Attendance records for each match would have been even more than that of the Superbowl, World Series, or the NBA Finals.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  5. dennyz Ragwala

    first England think they run soccer when half of the team are owned buy other people outside England, USA well soccer is not you staff. just focus on what you do best War. and let us Vuvuzela all the way.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  6. Jacob

    I say good for FIFA. Time to give someone else a chance. Who knows, perhaps Russia and Qatar could surprise everyone. I'm certainly looking forward to both Cups.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  7. Omar

    I'm very pleased of FIFA decision to have Qatar hosting world cup 2022. That decision reminds me with FIFA decision that USA hosted world cup 1994, when few Americans knew about this game at all. Such decision gives hope to nations coming closer and change a lot of stereotypes we have about each other in the world.
    I'm so confident Qatar will do a marvelous job with good planning, hard work... yeah why not!

    December 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  8. Ronnie

    I believe that FIFA showed last year that their slogan, "FAIR PLAY" is a load of lies! When Ireland and France played in the world cup qualifier, there was a handball that denied the Irish from going to South Africa. Stepp Bladder just laughted at the Irish who were asking for a replay.
    Yet, they will jepordize peoples health with 100+ degree weather at the greatest sporting event in the world. I am amazed how this choice came about. Obviously, money talks. The whole FIFA board needs to be changed, starting with the resignation of Stepp Bladder. He is a disgrace to a great organization, and sport. How can someone follow a sport when the leaders are as corrupt as anything.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  9. Jason

    The vote would appear to be totally flabergasting.. why Russia? Im from the UK, and there is no way England should have missed out. Russi might, to some, seem logical... but actually its not.

    It appears the votes have been bought. The voting system should involve a slection of fans from each country whom are not allowed to vote for their own homeland. Give it back to the Fans.

    Russia is expensive, Moscow is one of the mosr expensive cities in the world. Its infrastructure is questionable and there is inherent racism throughout the country. not to mention football related violence. also the sheer size of the country has got to be a factor.. Can someone explain how the whole region will benefit, as per Sepp's claims that it should/could/would? how will the Chukotsky AO region (which is near alaska) benefit from games played in and around Moscow and a good 5000 miles away?? total rubbish.

    As for Qatar... i hate to say this, but the middle east it a stable region at the best fo times. The numerous terrorist organisations will be rubbing their hands together plotting for this. Total joke.

    With both winning bids there are huge concerns. Sepp said the game is for the people etc etc... but how many 'westerners' are really going to travel to the middle east for the world cup..? and how is the racism and violence in russia going to be curtailed so its safe..????????

    December 2, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  10. Alex

    After a world-cup without a chance to support your team during the match, because of these vuvuzuelas, the FIFA has now topped it: We´ll have a worldcup without fans in 2022.
    The choice cannot be explained any other way than with bribery. There is no history of football in Qatar, and even if they cool down 12 stadiums during the matches (what a joke!), where shall 32 teams practice? There is no way to play football at 45 degrees Celcius.
    Besides, what should the fans drink to celebrate? What should the female fans wear?
    An incredible proof of corruption – Blatter should leave, and the best football teams should boycott the cup – for health of the fans and players, and for transparency of voting in the future.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  11. Omar

    I think the economics still make some sense for Qatar, they have an advantageous geographical position that would more than offset the higher attendence expected in larger countries, about 60% of the world live within +/- 4 hours from Qatar, and they do have no problem with finances in a world troubled by bailout uncertainties and receission difficulties...
    At any other time I would have seen Qatar as a surprising choice, but certainly not today....

    December 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  12. Shauru

    Dude in the picture looks like Madoff..

    December 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  13. sarie

    You guys really made because you lost the bid. what do you know about qatar?I bid you do not know where it located because you are living in different planet. None even say coagulation! It is time for you all to come to middle easy and see the history, you should not talk about thing you do not know. hard luck to all of you and o Goober Qatar for the past 10 years and so what change had been going.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  14. Ako Amadi

    I'm disappointed at the way the British press have reacted at not getting the hosting rights. Somehow, you get the feeling many of these people do not realize football, and not only the EPL is popular in other places around the globe. It would be unfair for England to host the World Cup whenever it wishes to, without considering other members of the FIFA Family. The UK is a part of the world and not the other way round.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  15. eric

    Russia makes some sense, as its huge market, and they have participated at the World Cup but never hosted. I am dutch so would have loved to see the holland belgium bid win.
    But Qatar is a joke!!!! Sepp says is to expensive to introduce goal line technology, but building stadiums in the desert to then aircondition, and dismatle and send around the world that makes sense. Carbon footprint??? And since budweiser must hbe happy, 2022 is gonna be fun, can see tourist agencies selling alot of holiday packages to the middle east, to a beerless World Cup in the dessert 😉 Football can make a difference, yeah to 22 peoples bank account.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  16. kgbman

    Amount of racism in Russia is overblown by western media, it is no more than in England, Japan or South Africa...
    If South Africa with all their crime problems could host WC – then Russia can.
    I'm sure it'll be very safe...

    December 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  17. DR.Ammar Rashid

    I believe Fifa has made the right decisions, Football dosent belong to some particular nation, Its a global game and World cup must go to all the corners of the World. US in 1994, Korea and Japan in 2002,
    and now Rassuia and Qatar.. well done Fifa
    Qatar's vision of worldcup is indeed exciting and innovative, Who will not want to go to a place where he can watch 3 matches of world cup in the stadium in just one day.. i have watched their presentation, which was by far the best , even better than 2018 contestents...

    December 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  18. Michalis

    Well, it is soooo interesting to see people from the States talking about how money can buy something.
    It seems you forget how USA got the Summer Olympics of 1996 in Atlanta (the worst ever Olympics) and also the Winter Olympics of Salt Lake (biggest schandal in the hisotry of the Olympic Games and IOC).

    So get over the feeling that USA is the centre of the world and accept the fact that there are other countries and nations that are much more civilaised and advanced from yours...

    December 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  19. Nwulu C

    well well well what a big gamble. I was surprice seen England loosing out in the race. I will really like FIFA to throw more light on the cateria used in voting because for me, England really prepare to host the tornamennt in 2018. for the issue of Qatar been the host in 2022, I would like to ask FIFA if they have ask the people of Qatar about the possiblity of allowing Isreal to come and participate should the qualify and other issues about dressing code since they are muslim nation.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  20. Ivan

    Lets put yourselfes in hands, guys! Russia has the one of the strongest football schools in the whole world. England has the history, USA has the "soccer", but its time for Russia, 2018 WC suits it the best!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  21. Patrick

    Wise decision, a country with a population of 1mio, which bases its laws an sharia law and prohibits alcohol outside of hotels and restaurants. i can clearly see how they read this description as being a place to throw a football cup.....
    Of course they can build nice stadiums with all their opec money they stole from around the world, but who in the world would wanna go there?!?!? the experience i had in germany ?! UNimaginable in qatar.
    i think they forgot one crucial element in their decision...THE FANS.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  22. ma7bd

    FIFA votes for sale... Sorry sold to Russia & Qatar... Most blatant corruption ever!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  23. Jono

    Qatar was a perfect choice. The country is a huge player in the region and is a very influential country. People are criticizing it here yet they have never been there or know anything about it. It has huge footballing and cultural history, football is the passion of most of the people living there and it has a huge amount of different nationalities living there. Also, its right in the center of the world so its easy for billions of people to travel to or watch. You reccomend moving it to Saudi or the UAE? yet you say qatar is to strict. Its actually very relaxed compared to other muslim countries. It is an amazing country and as developed as the UAE, is has done this without going broke, and yet it still holds on to its arabic traditions for the world to see, which are practically gone in Dubai and the UAE. Qatar as a country has developed hugely in just a few years and it deserves a world cup, so what if they have falcon hunting traditions, most countries hunt aswell. All the people that are complaing about not getting the tournament, be fair sport, u lost, stop whining. Try again later, Before you slag off about how it cant do it, it would help to actually go there so you know what your talking

    December 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  24. Sid

    If you guys actually read something you'd realise that Qatar is open to having Israeli's compete, they have been doing it for years, ALSO, THEY NEVER SAID IT WOULD BE ALCOHOL FREE, there will be large areas where it will be allowed
    but anyway, if your only going to have a drink get over it, you've got to respect their culture at the same time, so know what your talking about before so say what they are doing wrong

    December 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  25. Smith

    how would any of you know if qatar has footballing history, probably all of you have never been there

    December 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  26. Juancito

    Pffft FIFA is a joke and Sepp is more corrupt that the mafia.
    Russia? They are run by the Russian Mafia.
    Qatar? Please!
    Sepp did say that every continent will have a chance to host the world cup, like a roster. 2010-Africa, 2006-Europe, 2002-Asia, 1998-Europe, 1994-North America, 1990-Europe, 1986-Americas...
    2014-Americas... who is left over? Middle East... therefore Qatar... Given that FIFA is busy making profits now, it seems Qatar is a logical choice but from a footballing logic no f'ing way.
    And why Europe again???? How many times does Europe need to host it? Since the majority bidding for 2018 were Europeans, what can you do... This all seems illogical... And to me it depends on how the wind blows and that wind stinks of bribery.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  27. Hanie

    I see number of comments here about Qatar and its culture/ heritage. I am an expat, living in Doha for few years and widely travelled (US, Europe and Asia). I found these comments baseless and unfair. These are based on ignorance and arrogance. Qatar is a great place to be, Qataris are great nation and the WC 2022 would be a big success. I would urge people who are confined in their small cottages or zip codes and think this is the only world to come over and see what Qatar and the Arab region can deliver. Asian games in 2006, England Brazil and now Argentina Brazil were even better staged than events in so-called developed world. Qatar and Arabs would have new infrastructure by 2022 so why FIFA should rely on dying power houses with collapsing infrastructure.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  28. James

    I think FIFA made the right decision in awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia. In don't think FIFA made the wrong decision as all 2018 bids were brilliant.
    But, Qatar for 2022 is farcical. Yes, they will razzle and dazzle the world, but how many foreign workers will be exploited, how many women will go, how will people celebrate. More importantly football is about celebration, expression and liberation. How will an Islamic emirate cope with this.
    The aim of the world cup is to grow the sport of football. If FIFA was serious and if the process was ethical then the US and Australia should have been the 2 countries shortlisted as football is vying to claim the prize of number 1 sport in these countries.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  29. Ingrid

    I am disappointed to see Qatar win this bid. I just watched the celebration when the bid was announced in Qatar on CNN and there was not one woman in the audience. This is a place where women will not be welcome to watch the games either.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:00 am | Reply
  30. Reginald van Keppelen

    Frankly, when the choice for Qatar is concerned, sustainability is no issue.. Building airconditioned stadiums that will be broken down and rebuilt in Africa.. That's quite innovative, but a damned bad novelty. Most football fans would have been satisfied with some innovation concerning technological assistance for referees.....

    December 3, 2010 at 12:11 am | Reply
  31. Rob

    Where is Qatar? Do they have any players in International leagues?

    December 3, 2010 at 12:25 am | Reply
  32. Robin

    So – will alcohol and women be allowed at the games in Qatar? Will female fans be held to different standard than male fans?

    December 3, 2010 at 12:29 am | Reply
  33. rick

    the famous russian racism will take a backseat while the tournament is being played. just don't wander too far away from the stadium......

    December 3, 2010 at 1:07 am | Reply
  34. Kath@London

    I love reading these comments because they always tell us so much about our fellow human beings. Fist I see a guy who most probably is from my home country, England, basically complaining because he won't be able to get pissed in Qatar. Then I see a Nigerian saying he won't go to Russia because, in his opinion all Russians are racists (talk about stereotypes, eh?). Fortunately I later see some bloke from the Middle East that says this will help expand footie among the Arabs.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:44 am | Reply
  35. streaky

    As much as England is the "mother of football" it isn't the mother of FIFA and /nobody/ here feels allegiance with what they're trying to do with football.

    While I believe that both Russia and Qatar can put on a good show, the problem is this: after one world cup which was bad for fans of the game, we go to a real footballing nation, then we're going to have at least another 12 years to wait before we can have a world cup for the fans again.

    It's good to get more people involved, but trying to do it by shoving down their throats is going to help nobody.

    I think we can all agree in a time like now the best place to host it is somewhere that the stadiums either exist or are planned already, and that every single match even if it's North Korea v Azerbaijan will be packed to the rafters.

    Lets just say this up front, nobody is going to the 2022 world cup.

    The fans from any country have nothing to do with these selections, it's all down to how much money Blatter and his cronies can make from 'gifts'.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:49 am | Reply
  36. VB

    By 2022, the US will probably be involved in half a dozen needless wars, the government will be buried neck deep in debt, there will be 10 security checks to get a visa and another 100 to board a plane.

    So why are people surprised that FIFA choose not to stage the World Cup there?

    December 3, 2010 at 1:50 am | Reply
  37. streaky

    "Russia has the one of the strongest football schools in the whole world"

    Feel free to name which players I care about came from this magic school.

    Oh yeah wait..

    All I'm saying is if a country wants to host a world cup it should get interested first *not after*.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:51 am | Reply
  38. Sundar

    I am a big fan of football and I lived in Moscow for 5 years but never went to a Moscow stadium to see a football match, the reason "fear of the skin heads, fear getting beaten by drunk hooligans and fear violence". Forget stadiums we were too afraid to travel on a big match day in the Moscow metro red line where a major stadium was located. With an Asian Indian appearance like mine I doubt I will be able to travel to Russia to see the big games 🙁

    December 3, 2010 at 1:54 am | Reply
  39. streaky

    Sorry gotta do it again...

    The world cup shouldn't be the solution to all the world's problems is what I'm saying – we have the Olympics for that.

    The world cup should be about the fans getting to see the best players in the world playing each other, showing off their skills and everybody having a good time.

    Not Russia has a lot of money and not many fans, and they're trying to show a public image of playing nice.. where did I put that brown bag again?

    So lets give Russia the world cup and hope there's like 5 more fans there afterwards.

    If you can forgive the Russia choice, which I guess you can kind of see what they're trying to do – Qatar makes /no sense at all/.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:55 am | Reply
  40. Julio

    I would never go to those countries to watch the world cup.
    why did they choose those places??
    Bribes of course!


    December 3, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply
  41. May

    I love how everyone says that the votes were bought when they know nothing about Qatar at all. Comments saying things such as "The numerous terrorist organisations will be rubbing their hands together plotting for this. Total joke." simply show the disgusting ignorance of some people. I am a European national with an Asian heritage and have lived in 4 continents so I simply cannot tolerate this kind of ignorance. It is time for the world to see the middle east in a new light, it is time for football in the middle east to blossom because the region has been passionate about the sport for a very long time now. Other comments like "I think Qatar’s national sport is hunting with falcon’s or something" also shows the ignorance. Does it really matter what the national sport of a country is? Qatar has a large passion for football and I'm sure that football is not the USA's national sport either..

    December 3, 2010 at 3:53 am | Reply
  42. Bruce

    Just a little thought. Sporting events typically have fans drinking beer during the game. What is the position of Qatar regarding this ritual?

    December 3, 2010 at 3:59 am | Reply
  43. Bhupen

    Even though I am from Asia close to Middle East. But I am strongly agianst the decision of FIFA awarding the 2022 world cup finals to Qatar. Worldcup is not just only about football. Its an event where people from all over the world come together to cheer their countries Football team and its a carnival where people enjoy by drinking alcohol etc. Once drunk there are bound to be minor skrimhshes and the law of Qatar is very strict its a Islamic country and how about the female fans from Central America & European Countries. I am sure most of them will land in Prison for wearing inadequate clothes. For e.g When Turkey hosted the champions League Football Final In which Liverpool Football club emerged Victorious, One of the Fan of Liverpool Football club from U.K. was imprisoned by the authorities of Turkey for trifle matter. So in the conclusion when Qatar starts builidig Hi- TECH football Stadiums then they will start building prisons also at the same time for worldcup.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:13 am | Reply
  44. Balckstone

    Oh, I forget that Money talks

    December 3, 2010 at 6:15 am | Reply
  45. ben cepeda

    has anyone from FIFA tried to walk outside of their aircon hotel rooms and aircon limosine during 10am to 3pm? seriously? the blast from the heat on the sidewalk would cause you headaches you would not believe. add to that most players are coming from europe where weather is cool. they will be playing in aircon domes but once they get out they will feel the heat head on. this abrupt change in temperature will cause a lot of flu and colds during the game!

    December 3, 2010 at 6:50 am | Reply
  46. ijl

    Great job!! FIFA did well to choose the 2 host countries. The trouble with those of you in the west is that you think you are the only ones who can host such events. Just look at all the hype and negative reporting generated by the western media about the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The media scared people into coming to SA, talking about crime, lack of accommodation, incomplete stadiums, etc. None of that was true!! I'm actually still waiting for an apology!!

    Russia and Qatar will be great hosts!

    December 3, 2010 at 7:02 am | Reply
  47. jahnc

    as an american soccer fan, defined by usa 94, i only see this as an opportunity for american footballers to rise and dominate!! russia will not win their wc, and qatar definitely wont win their wc. the united states will have put in the time and training to embarass the hosts of future world cups. i have no doubt AMERICA will be world champions come 2022. thats a promise.. the united state of CALIFORNIA for wc 2026 thats what i'm sayin.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:32 am | Reply
  48. Seripa Mamabolo(South Africa)

    Well done to Russia and Qatar:) for the doubting Thomases,this is not a first,they(particularly the British & American media) sad the most revolting things bout South Africa as well without vouching the authenticity of their coverage ,yet we managed to host the most succesful Fifa world cup to date.I believe CNN nad British are alike in that both they subscribe to "cheap Journalism"...they should just stop hating and join in the celebrations.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:42 am | Reply
  49. Harry

    The world has gone crazy. Corruption! corruption! corruption!! I thought such things were only happening in my native Africa. If the British press annoyed the old boys, what about Spain/Portugal?

    December 3, 2010 at 8:06 am | Reply
  50. Denny

    All the bad comments on Quatar and even Russia is like the comments made when South Africa got the World Cup and look how that turned out.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:07 am | Reply
  51. girma

    what is wrong with the west media. u always look for negative things in Easter Europe , Middle East or Africa this is ur problem. look inside before u look out of side and start complaining. u always think u r right and others r wrong, keep complaining doesn't make any sense to me.
    FIFA is fair so far.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:22 am | Reply
  52. guindy

    I can understand and do agree strongly about Russia,Big country in everything with good history in football. But, I cannot understand why Qatar, it is small country, population less than a million,with almost no history in football , very high temperature, the only reason I think is that it is very rich country. What else!!!!????

    December 3, 2010 at 8:54 am | Reply
  53. USA

    The only reason USA did not get the 2022 bid is because other nations in the world do not like Americans and do not want us to have good things. This was a biased decision. I will not watch the World Cup in the future.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:45 am | Reply
  54. marco

    just looking at tickets for the AFC Asian cup in Qatar next month and i see there is only one block in each stadium allocated to family/ladies.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:29 am | Reply
  55. Kuwait

    Congratulations Qatar,,,
    Qatar really deserves to win the hosting of WC, they worked hard for the last years.
    Peaple in all world will have the chance to see the reality of middle east and not what the media represents about our region.

    Thank you Qatar.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:31 am | Reply
  56. Henry

    I think that blatter have just do the best thing that can happen to world football, letting the region that have not hosted the world cup to witness the event...............thanks to you FIFA,,,,,,,,,,This is the right step towards making peace with the middle Easterner just see it that way, and leave usa that think is by bombing their region and causing more problems........ENGLAND is disgrace to football, they should go home and arrange their self before hosting FIFA world cup okay...............

    December 3, 2010 at 11:36 am | Reply
  57. Padre

    Typical MAFIFA ways! Corruption and oil strikes again! Yeah, let's tear down the stadiums after 1.7 million and no beer, you're serious!Shame on you! Wasting all that money,oil and energy! We need a new president and culture.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Reply
  58. Francisco

    I was hoping for Russia but I did not think they were going to get it at all. Funny how people says that FIFA chose to go for the bribes because people would make the same comments regardles of who was chosen.
    Plain simple, Russia won the bid because they made a very tempting offer (in a personal note I am looking forward to visit Russia in 2018 since they are offering free city-to-city ground transportation to all ticket holders).
    Russia is not only offering new stadia with the latest technologies and with all FIFA requrements; they are almost done building all of them already. Therefore Russia does not only have potential to deliver, they are delivering already.
    It is time for the beautiful game to go to Russia and perhaps the world will change the way they think about this country; It worked for South Africa.

    Qatar in the other hand I never expected it. I was shocked that Australia didn't win not only because they are now the only continent to not have hosted a world cup but also because soccer is rapidly increasing in Australia and they are good at it, as opposed to Qatar.
    What worries me about Qatar is not that they will not deliver because they will, big time, (and we are going to witness some of the most amazing stadiums by then) what worries me is that fans might not warm up to the idea of visiting an Islamic country in the Middle East, where perhaps regulations on how to party are different. Well let's hope I am wrong.

    In the end as shocking as Russia and Qatar sound, it will grow in all of us (with excpetion of the old schol fans who believe ALL world cups should be held in Western Europe). I am pleased with FIFA's decision and I am happy for the World Cup to expand to new horizons.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  59. Gary Farmer

    I am English, to be honest I am glad we didn't get it, we have enough problems at the moment. Should never have done 2 selections in one year – what a stupid idea, 22 men wanting to make their mark before they die. Russia 2018 – ok, watch the racism and nationalism – it will surface. Qatar 2022 – odd choice, but as a gay guy who likes a vodka coke on the beach I don't fancy my chances of having a trouble free adventure in 2022, I may pass that one.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  60. Kaykay (London)

    Am of African heritage and have been living in the U.K for some 5 years now. I was hoping for the World Cup to come to the U.K (obviously so I wouldn't have to travel :-)) but also because there are excellent facilities here and the football culture is great! But I have to say the U.K self-destructed on this one. Everyone is for freedom of the press and all, however when your national T.V service chooses to showcase a program on how corrupt FIFA is 3 days b4 the voting process. You just gotta ask – Are you insane??. Natuarally certain persons are gonna be vindictive towards you!
    Secondly, did any1 actually see the English presentation? there is a strong argument it was patronizing; sending the Prince to talk boast of how multicultural England is and how its gonna feel like home to every national whilst at the same Time Nick Clegg and the Foreign secretary keep yapping how Immigrants are ruining the country!!! You can't eat your cake and have it!
    Its sad that the presentation didn't concentrate of British Culture itself.

    Russia & Qatar – whilst am not over the moon about them winning, the argument that new frontiers and barriers need to be broken is a good one.

    I think Belgium & Netherlands would have been the least sensitive option – but alas this wasn't to be.

    Don't worry England, football is gonna come home (its inevitable)!, but the media in this country and its leaders need to take a hard look at themselves. Accept you made errors and learn from them rather than the finger-pointing fiasco currently going on in several of the dailies this morning.

    London 2012 is gonna be great; show FIFA what they are missing!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  61. Richard

    I am really REALLY getting sick of FIFA. I have absolutely no doubt that what the British media uncovered was just the tip of the iceberg. I have a pretty good idea why Blatter and his cronies are resisting the introduction of technology as well – a lot harder to fix results if it's all on tape isn't it boys! It's shameful that the media are being blamed for us losing the WC – excuse us for wanting a little transparency in our national sport! Only an org. like FIFA would consider the routing of corruption as a smear campaign!And Blatter had the AUDACITY in his speech to make the completely groundless statement that it was the CHINESE who invented football and not the English! How do they get away with it?! They're rewriting the very origins of Assoc. football! He followed that up with some rubbish of how there were only a few corrupt officials out of about 300 million! What is he talking about?! Where does he get his numbers from?! There are 22 officials who vote and if 3 have been found to be corrupt that's pretty significant I would say. I would really love the Premiership to take a stand, particularly on introducing technology. We should lead by example – the Champions League is nothing without the English clubs. We need to clean up the sport ourselves and stop being bullied by Blatter and his odious cronies. There is clearly an agenda against the UK – I say if they want a fight let's give it them! I urge every media org. in the UK to pool resources into bringing FIFA and UEFA to their knees by uncovering the true extent of the cancer that runs through them. I dearly hope that I live to see the day when Blatter and Platini are sharing a cell together. And shame on Switzerland – FIFA couldn't exist in its current diseased state in any other 1st world country.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  62. Roby

    I was really hoping 2018 would be in England because they deserve it as they have the capability: Stadiums, transportation, tourism and so on. i have been watchin the premier league for the past ten years so it would have been nice to watch the world cup matches in stamford bridge, old trafford, anfield... But it wasnt meant to be because of media scandal what a shame.

    Nevertheless, Qatar has made me proud because they will be an ambassador to the middle east and people all around the world will finally change their view about arabs. Moreover, if people think terrorists will take advantage of this, they WONT because huge evidence of nothing happening are the Abu dhabi Formula 1 and Bahrain Formula 1 that took place this year!!

    Congrats Qatar.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  63. alehandro

    Though money will have played its part, what some people seem to be missing here is that FIFA sees football as something that can effect a change. The World Cups in Russia and Qatar are 8 and 12 years away, and it's clearly FIFA's hope that during the build-up and hosting of these finals the unpalatable "extremes" that some people see as endemic to these countries will be modified to create a more harmonious environment for the future. That way FIFA and football leaves a legacy, which has been high on the agenda for Sepp Blatter since he took charge. Okay, it's a lofty ambition and extremely idealistic, but, giving FIFA the benefit of the doubt, maybe its heart is in the right place, if only one chamber of it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  64. aj

    I do think FIFA went gaga over the Presentations of Russia and Qatar. These are new countries bidding for a World Cup to be in their own soil for the 1st time and probably these countries did far better effort of making all the presentations and requirements better than the others.

    I do think these countries caught the other's Guard off especially England and the USA. They were probably expecting a sure pick so they didn't bother to spend much on their presentations which, honestly, was the main factor on why FIFA choose Qatar and Russia.

    I dunno why people are against Russia being the host. Their Wold Cup plans were Great really. They're a great footballing nation and besides, Russia is filled with history for 1st time visitors to see while watching the cup. About the racism in Russia, its been an issue in every world cup, whether its been reported or not, it will be always there not willing to leave.

    As for Qatar... Whoa, I never thought the 1st Middle east nation to host would be this tiny country. i saw The pictures of the planned stadiums and it looks great. Other than the heat there, the only issue when 2022 is near is the realism of their plans. I mean, i saw one stadium in which you have to ride a water taxi to the venues. really? Probably when 2022 is near, they can solve that problem. People shouldn't worry bout Qatar, i mean, they aren't like Iran or Iraq. They are a peaceful nation and i really think it would be interesting for them to host a world cup.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  65. Alexandre

    Congratulations to FIFA, bringing to developing economies a fair play. This is why this sport is great today!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  66. Ashish Gandhi

    i feel very sorry for England . How can their Bid is rejected in the first round?they had the best infrstructure to host the wc. no stadium in russia can match the tempo,glare and atmosphere like we have at old trafford, stamford bridge and Wembly!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  67. Carl

    I live in Switzerland where FIFA is based, locally they are known as the football Mafia, choosing Russia and Qatar over more suited host nations, should come as no surprise! Russia is renowned for corruption; Qatar has a lot of money, the three of them certainly make a nice "manage toi".

    It’s a shame WIKILEAKS can’t expose FIFA….

    All Football associations should break away from FIFA and create a new Football Governing Body and a new World Cup. We need transparency and moral emphasis; this should not just be about money.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  68. pahammer

    "Has FIFA gambled with World Cup decisions?" Your question presupposes that these were rational decisions made by upstanding, unbiased, incorruptible representatives of the 22 (no make that 20) nations on the committee.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  69. Graeme

    There is no doubt the Petro dollar motivated FIFA and as a consequence made it so much harder for those those to follow, except a privileged few. Next stop Venezula and Iran goodbye freedom of speech and an open society. Shame on you FIFA.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  70. C R

    As an Englishman I am happy for Russia. I can understand how they got won. Partially down to Russias proud foot-balling heritage and FIFA feel they can give more to the people of Russia.

    So congratulations to the people of Russia. I hope the people benefit as much as they say they will.

    But Qatar winning shows why the English are so angry about FIFA. They have the best GDP per capita ratio in the world or second.
    They are extremely unfair to the foreign work force and can deport you whenever they want.

    Women still suffer massively from un-equality laws and are still struggling to be allowed to drive a car.
    Human trafficking is still rife in the country. The USA rates it as tier-3 country. Which as far as I am aware the worst it can get .

    Ramadan is enforced on every inhabitant in the country. (according to wikipedia) Alcohol is practically illegal in the country and requires permits to use and if you are Muslim is illegal.

    As for the smart stylish stadia. Which they are going to demolish and re-sell on. We live in a world where resources are finite. To have Air conditioning in stadia is disgusting. Some 1 million or so kids die in the world due to lack of safe drinking water and we are going into the desert to put up aircon stadia.

    Qatar bought the world cup and made 22 men a lot richer. Of these 22 men I doubt that 50% will even be alive in 12 years time. A scam and a great big shame.

    England only getting two votes. And we know one was from an Englishman is an absolute farce. They say because of our media. But a free press is a free press. It doesn't really exist in Russia and definitely not in Qatar. What do FIFA have to hide ?

    I for one think Qatar will be a big failure. It will be too expensive for most families and I just think the World Cup is all about FIFA looking out for number one.

    I cannot wait to see the end of Blatters regime. FIFA needs an overhauling where the voting for the 2026 world cup is by an electorate of at least 100 people.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  71. Graeme

    FIFA where is the sense in your decision, the only logical answer lies in whats in it for you as individuals or as an organisation. The dollar.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  72. Humberto

    Why not Qatar? Why not Russia? Why yes England? FIFA is giving one continent per world cup, I feel ok. Germany was in 2006 , South Africa 2010 , Brazil will be in 2014 , Russia ( Europe again ) in 2018 and Qatar ( Asia )..

    When British and American lost is corruption, when they win is a Fair decision... FIFA dont have more corruption them USA Government or big corporations from Centrals Countries...

    Enjoy the Copa America in Argentina in 2011 .. is a business and sport together... HAAA American pay attention the NBA corruption and NFL too

    December 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  73. Highlander

    QATAR !!!
    Thanks FIFA for letting rich Qatar to use labour from poor south asian workers to build their mega-premises for the world cup.
    Humanity, equality and fairness is not in FIFA's dictionary.
    Shame on you bunch of corrupt rotten old jerks.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  74. Lawrie

    The world cup is not a championship, it's a festival. Do we need it? No. After all, who is really interested in a "world championship" event which never has the best 24 / 32 teams participating at it, which drags on for 4 weeks and at which 80% of the matches are so dull. There is only one true cup competition in world football and that is the FA Cup.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:54 am | Reply
  75. DonOfTheWorld

    Nice results announced from FIFA President Blatar. We all were expecting this. People asking why FIFA announced 2018 for Russia & Qatar. The simple reason is no world cup held in both region.

    The complete middle-east was supporting Qatar2022 bid. Zidane & Pep Guardiola were also supporting Qatar2022 bid. Why US !! Because 2014 world cup is going to held in Latin America – Brazil, so its not too far from US. Its time for Russia & Qatar.

    The presentation of US for 2022 WC was worthless. Mrogen Freemen missed a page & then said sorry, I just missed a page. That's not presentation.

    Look at the presentation of Qatar. People in Middle East are crazy for Football/Soccer the US. So Qatar deserves, look at the arrangements of Qatar, they spent more then 50 million dollars, just for making new projects to succeed in bid.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:38 am | Reply
  76. David

    In the cold hard light of day, FIFA is the right and proper body to oversee the World game, so calls of a breakaway association is immature and reactionary.
    Yet, if ever there was a call for regime chance, then the Exco 22 are a text book example. Rife with corruption, low morals and even fewer ethics, Sepp Blatter and his crew of smiling assassins should hang there heads in shame and be unceremoniously shown the door. Nothing short of a complete restructure of FIFA and its member conferences must be adopted now.
    Until such a change takes place, all nations should not only seriously reconsider putting there hand up as a host nation for the World Cup, but should also reconsider qualification for it. From this moment on, every nation that does host it is now shrouded in a cloud of collusion with a serpent worthy of scorn and distaste, and the biggest loser will be the game itself.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:03 am | Reply
  77. Desmond

    Ah, the English. They go to the World Cup and they think that everyone else should just roll over and hand them the trophy. Never mind that they possess neither the skills nor technique, but the fact that they are English is suffice.

    Then they go bid as host and, again, it's their birth right they get the honour.
    When someone's else gets it....ah, it's daylight robbery, outright bribery. We sent our prince, our prime minister, our Golden Balls – hey, we ought to get it!!!! Didn't you like our Englishness???

    We English do not think the rest knows about football/soccer. Look at our League – superior, got lots razzmatazz, great publicity, full of cash....

    FIFA? They know nuts about football. We gave them football. They ought to kowtow to us English and learn our ways to run. Our league. It's the best – the top clubs (many foreign owners) and the world class players (many foreign born).

    Ummm.....give us the WC please. Please...............

    December 4, 2010 at 4:33 am | Reply
  78. alan

    world cup what have these guys done,what if israel make it to the 2022 finals,never mind the policing that will be required for the fans, who is going to do this ? they dont have enough of there own nationals, this looks like a recipe for a total disaster the terrorist have 12 years to prepare ! Russia have just woken up to a 50 billion $ hang over ? the next world cup has its own problems in brazil, what on eart are they doing trying to destroy the game for a mountin of cash, to hell with the supporters. so what if there are a few casulties.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:00 am | Reply
  79. Angel Rodha

    Consider that by 2022 we will have full developed 3D TV transmissions, so, going physically to the stadiums will be secondary. Perhaps will be more difficult to convince people to buy a ticket, even to travel to the locations, because of the superior experience watching the games we'll have undoubtedly. Even Japanese scientists are telling that they will have holographic TV in just a dozen years! Who knows...

    December 4, 2010 at 5:57 am | Reply
  80. Radek

    I think both Russia and Quatar were bad choices... yes the world cup has never been in eastern europe so Russia seems like a good choice but Quatar... i think FIFA has forgotten who makes football the most popular sport in the world.. THE FANS!!!

    Some people here mentioned that the world cup in south africa was critisized but it was a success.... well for me it was the most boring world cup i have ever watched... why? because there was no atmosphere in the stadiums!!! And how much atmosphere can we expect in Russia or Quatar?

    There is a reason why the football in England is so popular all around the world... because even if the last two teams in the table play each other the atmosphere is amazing. England should have won it because that would be one of the best world cups in many years!

    As for 2022 i would pick south korea and japan.. why? because people there would go crazy in the stadiums creating an amazing atmosphere.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:34 am | Reply
  81. Andre

    The 2014 WC can still go to England.

    The Brazilians are behind schedule on every aspect of organization. And they're not making any progress.

    Could England put it together within a 2-year notice?

    December 4, 2010 at 9:50 am | Reply
  82. EBO

    People talk about the size of the country, the small population, paying beneath the table and so on...They seem to forget the most important aspect in which Qatar is a country of great ability to host such event and you can look back at the Asian Games 2006..Qatar is a country of challange in different fileds of economy, politics and sports. We have won the 2022 world cup host and it will be the best world cup games ever...We bid on that

    December 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  83. International

    I respect you Terry 110%, but I do not agree with you. Russia for 2018 is more than OK, because it breaks barriors. Why it's not OK is because England competed with them and deserved the World Cup. There's absolutely no question about it. All Europe&USA love English football and the games have not been there since 1966. I think Finland's newspaper HBL has right when they say the World Cup was given to Russia, mainly because of the fact: FIFA will get money. That's the only thing they're interested in really it seems.

    Qatar 2022 is also not OK, because
    1. temperatures are beyond healthy levels
    2. the technic that is needed to pull down these high temperatures takes a lot of electricity and will only help the growing climate change
    3. Qatar is not a football country in any eyes

    Best greetings from a young sports journalist in Southern Finland.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  84. wally

    O cmon guys! stop being cry one has made such a hullabaloo about previous hostings but because it didnt go in your favor this time the whole world is talking about corruption and all that....for sport lovers all of you are sure acting like spoilt sports i tell u ....

    Im not Arab and i live no where near Qatar however GOOD FOR THEM! that they won! and good for you FIFA for actually trying to spread and promote the game to new places...

    December 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  85. Phil

    Everyone talks about how England and USA got robbed. Spare a thought for Australia. The Socceroos (Australian National Football team) are the most popular national team in Australia, with the sport increasingly becoming more and more popular in a sports mad country.

    At least England and the USA have hosted the world cup. I can understand why Russia may have been given the nod aside from all the controversy. They are a top 20 ranking football nation and have never hosted the world cup before in their history. England did have the best bid on paper, this is true, however it is understandable why FIFA have chosen Russia.

    As for Qatar, the ONLY logical explanations for FIFA giving them the nod is that: 1. Have never hosted the world cup, 2. Suitable timezone to maximise revenue, 3. Provides the impetus of legacy being the only world cup to be hosted in the Middle East. However, surely Egypt or Morroco would have been better candidates had FIFA approached them. These are the only pros in comparison to the other bidders for 2022.

    The cons far outweigh the pros for Qatar 2022.

    -They have NEVER qualified for a world cup
    -They are ranked outside 100 in the world with no real history of football
    -Temperatures during June/July are scorching 45+ degrees celcius and even with air conditioned stadia what will tourists do in the time when matches aren't on? Are they supposed to stay indoors in air conditioned buildings? How will teams train in that heat?
    -Do not have a well known national football league
    -Going to build 20 stadia in a country smaller than the size of Sydney with a population a third of Sydney, only to dismantle it and have no effect on the growth of football in their nation.

    What then astounds me is why would FIFA choose a country with the above mentioned problems ahead of Australia if the aim of FIFA is to tread on new territory and give the world cup to areas that have never hosted it before.

    Australia were the clear choice ahead of Qatar. All the others had their turn to host it.

    Australia hosted the Sydney 2000 Olympics which was regarded the 'Best Ever'. Australia already have the infrastructure in place, their national football team is competitive ranked 22 in the world and have qualified for 3 world cups, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and it is the only continent in the living world that has yet to stage the tournament. Australia also have a well recognised national football league. Australia's economy is one of the leading economies in the world (G20) and is also linked to the Asian markets – a fast growing economic region that will be leading the world in 2022. The growth of football in Australia, if they were given the world cup, would have been unbelievably exponential.

    USA and England, previous hosts of the world cup (one very recent in 94 and another much longer in 66), can complain day and night about how they were robbed. But I think Australians are the ones who lost out . We needed this.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  86. LC

    Football is a global sport, so let's face up to this fact by having the World Cup held globally. A note to Americans, please don't pronounce Qatar the same as 'cutter'. It's a bit disparaging when you refuse to learn what the locals say. And, no, Richard Roth, you CANNOT pronounce any foreign word any way you want. It's very arrogant , specially on internationally reputable news organisations like CNN!

    December 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  87. zorbs99

    Coruption! That all I have to say.

    December 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  88. Alfred

    I for one am very proud of Fifa for Standing up for the developing nations.Congrats to Russia & Qatar. Cant wait for 2018 & 2022,have not doubt it will be magical.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  89. tuffymacca

    Bravo to Fifa 4 getting it right by awarding the hosting rights of the world cup in 2018&2022 to new frontiers..The western world thought that they can getting away with antagonising&ridiculing the sporting world `s most powerful man Dr Joseph Sepp Blatter&Fifa..The Sunday Times &the BBC Panorama programme shot the England 2018 bid in the foot.The British are very good at finding scapegoats &fingure pointing.The English think & behave as if they have the god given birthright to host the FIFA worldcup.The FA now wants to stage a coup d`etat to oust Sepp Blatter from the helm ,bring it on ,gud luck in yr futile attempt coz Sepp Blatter will be reelected as FIFA boss. next year by the majority of the 208 Fifa family.How nonsensical & hypocritical that the English & the so called powerful nations are threatening to secede from Fifa.U accuse Fifa of corruption as if there is no corruption in the so-called First world (Western world).

    December 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  90. Matthew

    People upset at the English reaction are not getting the point.

    We were not favourites going itno the decision day, and many of us realised it was an outside chance. Our media were not helping us either by trying to expose a bunch of people whom we knew were corrupt but had to make friends with anyway.

    The reason we are upset is because once the details emerge – that we only won won vote other than our own, despite having the best technical and commercial bid – we suddenly realised that actually we were never really in the running and the whole process has been a waste of time and money.

    FIFA set out the criteria to be met by the bidding countries, and those who met that criteria the best got the least votes in the first round of bidding, whilst those who struggled the most and were flagged as the highest risk went on to win. Then we find out that most of the ExCo didn't bother to read the technical bids anyway!

    The idea of FIFA taking the tournament to pastures new is not an issue, but it is a surprise given the criteria that they set out for the bidding countries. If they had said to Australia and England two years ago "you know what, we just want to take it somewhere new this time, somewhere that has to build a bunch of new stadiums" then we could have dropped out and given Russia and Qatar a free run at it.

    Instead, FIFA led everyone on with a defined set of criteria, allowed themselves to be wined and dined at the bidders expense, only to pick the countries that didn't meet up to the stated requirements anyway.

    England, Australia, Spain, USA and others were used. The fact that we have already invested billions into sports over the years, have passionate fans, have a legacy to speak of and can host the tournament tomorrow is exactkly what has gone against us.

    In the end, FIFA wanted someone who has to build their tournament from scratch, but they lied about it to the others so that they could milk the bidding process for all it was worth.

    It was a fair competition, but that wasn't made apparent until afterwads. That's why we're angry!

    December 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  91. Johan

    The Old Man finally lost it!!!, time for a change of guard!!!!!

    December 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  92. Kevin

    I personally think it was the best decision FIFA has made by awarding Russia and Qatar the chance to host the World Cup. Earlier it was always Western Europe or South America. It looks like football belongs to them and that is where they need to stage the World Cup. Hosting the World Cup in Korea/Japan as well South Africa was a super success! So why not move the World Cup venues to new unchartered territories around the globe. Nothing wrong in that, besides it goes on to prove that football is a world sport loved and played in nearly all the countries of the world. Well done FIFA.

    December 6, 2010 at 1:37 am | Reply
  93. jorgen friis

    two surprises i.e. the choice of Qatar as venue. How on earth did that
    come about and what justifications are there for such choice? Are we talking money politics? And secondly, that Blatter is still sitting in the chair. Like any corporation fresh blood, new ideas and getting rid of the staleness thats Blatter's hallmarks are required. Lets say thank you to Blatter but its time for him to go, gracefully, before eventually he'll be
    booted out. Blatter has been there for way too long and its now time for
    for him to say adios.

    December 6, 2010 at 6:33 am | Reply
  94. David Saxon Jones

    Whatever people think about England is and should be irrelevant. The hosting of a world cup should be beyond politics and favouritism. It should be about only 2 things, football and fans and together, they create entertainment and pleasure for the world. This is what i am saying it should be about but of course, it is not! I accept this as the case. However, if it is not, then we need to change! Noboby can disagree with enough sense to argue that football should be about football and fans. No fans, no football and no football no fans! It is so simple.

    The fact that FIFA is both politically and economically motivated are reasons enough to ask for its expultion or at the very least, drastic overhaul.

    I firmly believe that given the choice between England and Russia, and this is no disrespect to Russia, the vast majority of football fans around the world would rather the World Cup be in England. This is for to many reasons to mention.

    I am not suggestiong for 1 minute that Russia doesn't deserve to hold it one day or that it is incapable of putting on a fantastic tournament, of course they could, but i think given the current world problems surrounding money and the environment, The fans have not been considered by FIFA. Look, it is us the fans that fund football and it is cheaper, more convinient, less arduous and more relevant for the fans to come to a World Cup at the home of football currently than it is to got to Russia. Again no disrespect to Russia but the cost, the carbon footprint and the hassle for the fans to travel from 1 side of Russia to the other and then another long journey to their 3rd games is not going to make this fun for the Majority.

    For example, in England, if your team have their 3 matches in the 3 biggest cities in England, London, Birmingham and Manchester, you can drive to all 3 games in less than 4 hours (London to Birmingham 90 to 120 mins and Birmingham to Manchester 90 mins or so – going slow) or you can fly in 40 minutes for 50 GBP. In Russia you simply will not get the ability to match this

    England was simply the all round better choice. Russia won the vote based on 2 points, Money, an emerging football market, and because they had never had it before. FIFA know Russia had never had it before and they know all Englands attributes for hosting so given this, then why didn't FIFA just say, don't bother bidding because we want Russia and here is why. Of course the reason is so that they can publicise & market themselves and so they can obtain "favour" from the bidding nations. And all of this done behind closed doors!

    It is all corrupt. Whichever way you look at it!

    The fans around the world should have a say as to where we want the WC and who heads and sits on the ExCo.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:32 am | Reply
  95. Джеффрей Офори (JEFFREY OFORI)

    I'm a Ghanaian Medical Student in RUSSIA!
    Without any shred of doubt, I'm having one of the BEST moments in my life here as a student. All the UTTER NONSENSE about racial abuse in Russia fundamentally exudes from people who have had not a morsel of taste of the Russian hospitality.
    Petty altercations we experience here are no different from what is reported from elsewhere. The rest of the world should evert from their paranoic stance and appreciate subtle realities.
    FIFA did EXCELLENTLY by picking RUSSIA and QATAR!
    We should all brace up ourselves for a showpiece unparalled and unrivaled in the history of the game!
    I understand why England and the rest of the hypocritical world are supremely disheveled by the result of the vote.
    Get your pants on....folks!
    RUSSIA 2018 is here to INSPIRE. We ain't running the legendary rat race anymore...(whereby even if you win, you are still considered as a rat).
    Spare all your tears for the PERENNIALLY ARROGANT England!

    December 6, 2010 at 11:02 am | Reply
  96. Harry

    Beware FIFA. We fans in Uganda have even dragged a football association president to court and eventually to prison for corruption!!

    December 6, 2010 at 11:48 am | Reply
  97. okey J.

    FIFA has since lost credibility. Progressive minded countries should break away from FIFA to form a parallel body. It is a corrupt institution.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  98. Chambo

    I've got to see them aircondition a football stadium using green energy...................................................................................................................

    December 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  99. Ram Riva

    New regions that represent a risk for such an event as the world cup, is extremely exciting..let's not insult Quatar...they deserve a shot....
    Good for FIFA, now let's make sure that the next world cup will be held in Australia...
    That will show if FIFA is consistent in broadening new markets...where Football is second fiddle to other sports, such as Cricket, or Rugby...
    Only time (hopefully not corruption) will tell...

    December 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  100. Bryan

    For those that pointed out the instability of the middle east: well said! I had to go to Russia for work a few years back, and would love to return with my family....although it is very expensive. There is no way, none, that I would even consider going to Qatar. Why? What's there? Nothing. If I wanted to watch a soccer game in 120 degree heat, I could go to Phoenix, AZ. A lot cheaper.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  101. dumihaze

    Great article, more so because an Englishman wrote it, journalism at its best!!!

    December 8, 2010 at 10:06 am | Reply
  102. RusPRO

    Hmmm World Championship 2018 in Russia is a big step. Come join us in 2018 and will meet with Russia better.

    December 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  103. Mohd ABA

    IHAVE LIVED IN QATAR...a few GCC countries, Eastern Asia and Europe. So I speak with detailed and firsthand knowledge.

    FIFA has made a significant, uneducated mistake. Qatar has two rules of law – one for the locals and one for everyone else. You will find NO COMMENTS FROM ANYONE CURRENTLY LIVING IN Qatar for fear of repercussions / imprisonment / or worse. There is a nervous cloud over every non-Qatari individual because they know at any moment they can be arrested and/or deported from the country for anything whether actual or false. Further, the borders with nearby countries are quite porous – a safety concern. Yemen is slightly worse. Tourist would be well advised to steer clear of Qatar.

    If you are there for the tourney, the list of "things to do/see" can leave a football tourist resentful of FIFA. Qatar does have lots of money. Possibly they can build a new country because what is there now can't possibly pass as a tourist destination. No one, not even other GCC residents go to Qatar for a "getaway".

    The heat is very oppressive. You will not see a soul on the streets, outdoor cafes, etc...during the summer. Add in extreme humidity and it is a serious health threat. FIFA should have considered this. If the air conditioned stadiums do work, what about before and after the games. And...what about the 45-75 minutes to queue in lines to get into the stadiums.

    Human rights need to be raised. Qatar is one of the few countries that require individuals to gain approval from their sponsor before they can leave the country. This has been abused to no end. There is no defense for this.

    Lastly, there was an article today about gays traveling to Qatar. This should not be a problem. One of the best known secrets about Qatar is the homosexuality amongst the Qatari youth. Only one of the two men/boys involved in the act is considered "homosexual". The other is considered to be fulfilling a natural urge.

    A possible solution for Qatar and the fans of football is to build the stadiums in other countries but still be the "host"? Painful for Qatar's ego...but possibly the right thing to do.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  104. Chris Irvine

    It may well be time for a sepate governing body to be formed, that is tranparent and clear in it's guidelines. The fact England, United States, Australia, Spain Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium all failed must question the bid process.

    Perhaps the withdrawal of all of these 'footballing' nations will illustrate that whilst football is not owned by an individual country it is certainly not owned by a corporation either

    December 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  105. Mike

    Stop being such spoilt sports. Almost all of the bloggers on this site show absolutely no knowledge of the Middle East or Qatar at all. Your comments display a level of ignorance that should be illegal in the digital age.

    For those that do know, Qatar has been actively investing in, pursuing and staging major sporting events for many years. Please look up ASPIRE as well as the 2006 Asian Games.

    Football is massive in the Middle East. I lived in Saudi Arabia for two years. It is a national pastime, akin to baseball in the US.

    As for human rights, not every country/culture moves at the same pace, but this is no reason to ostracise. In my home city (Atlanta) and in my lifetime, gay people were dragged from their homes and tried in court for engaging in homosexual sex (look up Bowers v. Hardwick) and gay bars were bombed in the 1990s. You didn't hear cries to boycott the Atlanta Olympics, did you?

    I myself am gay, and would have no problem attending the World Cup in Qatar. Please learn something today about the rest of the world.

    December 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  106. Oludayo

    I am a Nigerian. Who says the world cup should be in a place comfortable for "only you". Football transcends your religion, your location, your race or whatever. Perfect choice FIFA! Let it go round, the ball itself is round...

    December 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  107. Pedro Navia

    Qatar???? What solid soccer tradition they have had??? How many world cups they have been to???
    Just like Sout Africa, they are not going to second round. Thay have never been to any international competition!!!!
    There is something wrong with FIFA.

    December 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  108. Ady

    Nice choice. Both countries are able to do nice job. I do not get all this coments against Russia and Qatar. If S. Africa did it why these two are not. A lot of very stupid comments are here.

    December 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  109. md

    Fifa's goal is for football to become popular everywhere, even in places like Qatar.
    Sepp Blatter was right. When you get to the host nation,
    Obey their laws. Period.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  110. TSteveo

    Middle easteners need to realize that the majority of the world is scared to come to the Middle East. I'm not saying it that Qatar doesn't celebrate football like other countries or that its not as relevant of a sport as it is other places because that's no reason to not bring the WC there (i.e. South Africa) but it seems obvious that they are lumped right in the middle of terroist central. I would love to go to the world cup there but I think it would be unwise due to terroist threat and the heat alone. Not to mention their many different values and laws that are far off from tourist countries' values and laws.

    Sure FIFA tries to spread peace and that makes sense, but let me ask do you believe their will be no acts of hate towards gays during the WC? or that some terrorist group won't be chomping at the bit to light a bomb under some american/english tourists? or will the israelites be allowed in the country?

    The way I see it is they have 12 years to change their mind and that will probably happen.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:20 am | Reply
  111. elawure osas

    FIFA, should look beyond spreading the game for now and let the bidding process be fair, in my own thinking if your bid comes top in all category and yet you are denied the chance to host the tournament in order to move the game around then the bidding process should be scrapped altogether and a system in which every former host is not allowed to bid should be introduced, or better still some tournaments in each world cup year should be reserved for former host. Blatter is trying to create a personal legacy and this is not good for the game. Saying England is a bad loser was the worst thing to say after they have been cheated. It is also a shame that men in the governing body can not keep their promises or what happend to all the votes that was promised to the England delegation, shame to FIFA.

    December 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  112. areyoukidding


    It looks to most of us like the votes went to the highest bidder in a blind auction of under the table payments– Russia & Qatar.

    This article, with it's double standards and dubious logic, comes straight out of FIFA's PR campaign to repair its corrupt image... but instead it is dragging CNN down with it..

    Yuck for the sport, yuck for the news.

    December 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  113. Luke

    Amazing decision FIFA!
    I won't be going to see either, neither will anyone I know.
    Way to reward the fans...

    December 23, 2010 at 3:58 am | Reply
  114. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    2018 and 2022 World Cups are far away. Russia and Qatar have ample number of years to prepare the infrastructure and roll the welcome carpets for the distinguished visitors and fans from around the Planet. Best wishes.

    January 21, 2011 at 8:24 am | Reply
  115. DjokovicFan

    Djokovic will be no1 very soon 🙂


    June 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  116. Isabella Mor ris

    Hah, Italy protesters rally against Berlusconi

    December 10, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply

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