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Posted at 12:46 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Decision Day: 2018 and '22 World Cup

By Steve Goff

Thursday's festivities in Zurich begin with presentations by the 2018 World Cup candidates: Belgium-Netherlands is up first, followed by Spain-Portugal, England and Russia.

FIFA's executive committee will then go behind closed doors to commence secret balloting. The 2018 host(s) will be determined first, then the 2022 selection. When all the voting is complete, Sepp Blatter will announce the winners at approximately 10 a.m. Eastern time.

FIFA.com will carry live video coverage of the 2018 presentations, beginning at 3 a.m. ET. The formal announcement is available on ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel, Univision, ESPN Deportes, FIFA.com and ESPN3.com.

To win hosting rights, a bid must receive an absolute majority (more than 50 percent -- at least 12 of the 22 votes). With each failure to achieve that majority, the bid with the fewest votes will drop out of contention. In case of a tie for last place, an intermediate round involving the bottom bids will be conducted. When the outcomes are reached, the results will be placed in envelopes and delivered by a notary to Blatter for the formal announcement.

2018 BETTING ODDS
England 4/6
Russia 2/1
Spain-Portugal 7/2
Belgium-Netherlands 40/1

By Steve Goff  | December 2, 2010; 12:46 AM ET
Categories:  FIFA, USA World Cup bid  | Tags:  FIFA, World Cup  
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Next: USA falls short in bid to host 2022 World Cup, losing to Qatar; Russia beats England for 2018 event

Comments

I'm surprised that no-one has called out Qatar on their stadiums. They are "developing technology" (i.e. they don't have it) to build a set of outdoor, air-conditioned, carbon-neutral stadiums in the desert. How crazy is that? Do they plan to power the AC by the friction of the ball on the grass?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1 While I agree it does sound suspicious, they do some pretty crazy building projects out there so I would not be surprised if they get these buildings done if they get the bid.

Posted by: Dlewis6 | December 2, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Solar power!

Apparently our city leaders are gathering at a bar to watch this in Atlanta, too.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Think it would be cool to head down to Stats for the announcement, but, alas, work. Also, I'm certainly less optimistic than I have been about it, but in the back of my head, and the bottom of my heart, hope and confidence are there, a feeling I haven't had since... Maybe the 91st minute against Algeria.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If Qatar wins, look for Algore to make a few bucks helping the stadia be "carbon neutral."

And when each stadium is done, will they have a ribbon Qatar?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 2, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

No yellow card for "ribbon Qatar," but a stern talking to with the international cut-it-out hand gesture.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure they Can build the stadiums, but they sure as hell can't air condition the desert. Their own population can't possibly meet seating demands, and other nations don't want their citizens suffering from heat stroke. Basically, Qatar would have to bribe their socks off to make this happen.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | December 2, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of bribes, here's to praying that Russia doesn't get the 2018 bid.

The comments put out in Wikilinks are spot on as far as Russia being a mafia state with extreme corruption...but unfortunately that is also the motto of FIFA.

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 2, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Carbon neutral? I guess either the players and fans are not allowed to exhale while in the stadium or there will be a large tree in every other seat (they will count the trees as being in attendance to make up for that statistic).

Anyways, my predictions are England 2018 and Australia 2022. Hope I'm wrong on the last one.

Posted by: rademaar | December 2, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Basically, Qatar would have to bribe their socks off to make this happen.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1

---------------------------------------

How dare you even begin to suggest such things? Where did you get this or would you possibly come up with this idea?! I, for one, don't believe anything like this would EVER happen...Certainly not within government, FIFA or the IOC!

Posted by: JPO2200 | December 2, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

What kind of night life is there in Qatar? I imagine it might be pretty Bahrain.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

In my best Ian Darke voice...

Go Go USA!! Bid!!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I can tell already that our resident political experts are going to make this a painful day on this blog.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

With that much money to spend and a long time between now and 2022 I don't see why they won't be able to develop some sort of tech to deal with the heat.

They don't need their own population to fill the stadiums. Qatar is a short flight from Europe. And there are lots of folks in the Middle East who love football. And having the stadiums all so close together means getting from one game to another should be fairly easy.

If you are worried about heat then the USA has similar problems. Remember how oppressive the matches were in 94? If we insist on bowing to European TV that means more games in the middle of the hottest part of the day here. And none of our stadiums have a roof or any shade.

I am surprised everyone seems to be discounting Australia altogether. While I think they have some huge hurdles they also have some big positives.

For 2018 I think Spain-Portugal would be front runners if their governments weren't on the verge of bankruptcy. I have suspected Russia would win for a while. Every bid has its pros and cons of course. But the endemic corruption there could be right up FIFA's alley. I would just wonder how many traveling fans will be able to afford it. Russia is a very expensive place.

Posted by: fedssocr | December 2, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Morgan Freeman has gravitas, but Angelina Jolie would get us votes.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

BrianStraus The head of Qatar's bid, brother of crown prince, tells Al Jazeera "Congratulations Qatar. We have won."
29 minutes ago
From twitter, Brian Straus in studio in DC for American perspective on Al Jazeera coverage.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Qatar is a short flight from Europe.

Posted by: fedssocr | December 2, 2010 9:40 AM

6 or 7 hours is a short flight? Qatar is as far from Europe as most of the US - and flights are as expensive and there are far fewer non-stops.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Fox Soccer Twitter: Some news: We are being told the announcement will be slightly delayed. What this means is anyone's guess.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"I can tell already that our resident political experts are going to make this a painful day on this blog.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane "

-And it was Thor who went first, imagine that.

Anyway, is it true that they announce a decision has been made by releasing smoke from a pile of burning vuvuzelas?


Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Well in fallschurch.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Fox Soccer Twitter: Some news: We are being told the announcement will be slightly delayed. What this means is anyone's guess.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish

There was a run on cash at the bank.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Slight delay means 10 am start won't happen. 2018 first, 22 12 minutes later.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

. . . or a run on Viagara at the Apotheke . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

certainly 6-7 hours is a shorter flight to DOH than it is to the USA. Qatar Airways is a growing airline. They are building a big, new airport. Other airlines will add flights to get there directly.

It was nice to see the Mayor-elect on TV this morning with his USA bid scarf on.

Posted by: fedssocr | December 2, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Word on ground, per Grant Wahl, is that they're still holed up voting, not even letting print media into announcement auditorium.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

DOH!

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

To solve the flight length, Qatar is developing technology that would let their airplanes fly at light speed - carbon neutral, or course.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Word on ground, per Grant Wahl, is that they're still holed up voting, not even letting print media into announcement auditorium.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish

"Sepp, how many money bags did you get?"

Keep the updates coming...

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

GrantWahl Qatari delegation members getting handshakes & some hugs from FIFA voters. Hmmmmm....
2 minutes ago

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

another update from Wahl : Qatari delegation members getting handshakes & some hugs from FIFA voters. Hmmmmm....

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

ESPN has a live chat with Leander Schnakcenensesnses.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Grant Whal via: "Qatari delegation members getting handshakes & some hugs from FIFA voters. Hmmmmm...."

Crap...

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 2, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm watching BBC World's coverage. Typical British boosterism.

Posted by: fedssocr | December 2, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"another update from Wahl : Qatari delegation members getting handshakes & some hugs from FIFA voters."


NY Post headline? YOU QATAR BE KIDDING!

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

maybe the hugs mean "sorry, you guys were close, better luck next time"

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Jeff Carlisle:
Supposedly the voting has just concluded. Qatar delegates supposedly getting congratulatory handshakes.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Qatar you talking about?

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

CNN says announcement will be delayed 30 minutes.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

So Quatar has already won? I guess the delay must be getting the money transfer sorted out...

Posted by: rademaar | December 2, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Grant Whal via: "Qatari delegation members getting handshakes & some hugs from FIFA voters. Hmmmmm...."

Crap...

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 2, 2010 10:06 AM

FIFA reps just thanking them for the dozens of hookers sent to their rooms last night.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

No, they are sorting out who gets what transformer stadium...Jack Warner wants Optimus Prime Arena for T&T. Or for his next home.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Following English hooligans around Qatar in 110 degree heat could be an epic reality show. Assuming England qualifies.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

On SportsCenter, for a brief moment, Alexi Lalas was at a loss for words.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

GrantWahl USA delegation enters. Poker faces, hard to read. Clinton working room w/FIFA voters still.
3 minutes ago

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Look for Qatar to get it, the rest of the world to moan about it but just like SA 2010, it'll go off without a hitch and the media will thank FIFA for bringing the worlds game to the Middle East.

How many hooligans get roughed up by the local law enforcement for drinking is another matter.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

On SportsCenter, for a brief moment, Alexi Lalas was at a loss for words.

Posted by: I-270Exit1

So there is a silver lining.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Qatar is #113 in the FIFA rankings. Can't wait to see them on the sand.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

No, they are sorting out who gets what transformer stadium...Jack Warner wants Optimus Prime Arena for T&T. Or for his next home.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:13 AM

+1 for calling them Transformer Stadia

Posted by: VTUnited | December 2, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

English media just got really glum about their chances - rumor mill doesn't like their chances. They feel we're a show in for '22, fwiw.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse


pkelso Sources: england out in 1st round
3 minutes ago

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

re 2018

Times's @owenslot tweets: "England went out in 1st round. News from inside"

Guardian UK has blog keeping track of various twitter updates/comments
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/dec/01/world-cup-2018-2022-zurich

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Qatar is #113 in the FIFA rankings. Can't wait to see them on the sand.

Posted by: Reignking

12 years is plenty of time to boost their Brazilian immigration quotas.

Posted by: csd1 | December 2, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

When I hear the FIFA anthem played, I get filled with dread at the forthcoming combination of incompetence, venality, and corruption.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse


pkelso U-turn from fifa, all votes will be revealed after
2 minutes ago

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@henrywinter: "All the fish are sold....England look to have lost. Unconfirmed"

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

First round? That's crap.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Rankings? Qatar is behind China and Cuba in the freedom rankings, and that's no joke.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Who does Roman Abramovich have his money on. It looks like he is sitting between the Russians and the English.

Posted by: csd1 | December 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to watch online but both CNN and ESPN3 are not showing anything. Help?

Posted by: CYork1 | December 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

FIFA feed? the online feed had background noise and then the FIFA anthem played and now it's gone quiet for me ...

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

CKM360 @JenChang88 I just read that Qatar authorities sentenced a tourist to lashing for being drunk in public. #Internationalincidents?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

2018 here we go

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Live World Cup Coverage with video:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Posted by: csd1 | December 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

thanks emanon13

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

working now...

Posted by: CYork1 | December 2, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

What kind of night life is there in Qatar? I imagine it might be pretty Bahrain.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 9:38 AM |

--------------------------------------------------

D'oh! Ha!

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"This game is more than kicking the ball"

Awesome, Sepp.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

What a blowhard.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Sepp is a disaster (but Jack Warner makes him look good)

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Blatter blather.

Posted by: benonthehill | December 2, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Al Jazeera now changing report that voting went to third round with USA and Qatar.

Update: BrianStraus In Pretoria, I was 800 words into my 'US is eliminated' story when @landondonovan scored. I'm writing my 'Qatar wins' story now.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

What a blowhard.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:34 AM

let him go, hes on a roll

Posted by: VTUnited | December 2, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

will the 2022 announcement also be this drawn out?

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Sepp: this is a great day for humanity

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"I could speak more an more, but I have to announce it."

Excellent self-awareness.

Posted by: benonthehill | December 2, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Russia ???

Posted by: emanon13 | December 2, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Russia 2018.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

2018 Russia

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

DRAGOOOOOOOOOO!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

More noise from the old bag of wind.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | December 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Russia -- not a good sign. FIFA going with oligarchy

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I liked all 2018 candidates, actually.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Love the Russian Sportsbabes, especially the leopard print one...

Posted by: 22206no1 | December 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, this will transform Russia and Russians -- from a criminal, corrupt nation populated with bigots, to a modern, welcoming, open nation.

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

HA!

[Comment From Yakov Smirnov Yakov Smirnov: ]
In Soviet Russia, ball kicks you.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Did Putin stay home to not taint the voting proceedings somehow (any more than they already have been)?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for alerting the photographers that 'now is a good time to take a picture'

Posted by: carmines757 | December 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

i wonder if he bumbles this much when speaking in whatever his native language is...

Posted by: VTUnited | December 2, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

2018: Oil money wins
2022: Oil money wins

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, this will transform Russia and Russians -- from a criminal, corrupt nation populated with bigots, to a modern, welcoming, open nation.
Posted by: fischy
==========

Giving them the reward before behavior is modified does not work.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

WHAT THE F*$K!!!?????

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Qatar?!?!? Seriously???

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

THe bidder with the highest risk gets to host. Nice job FIFA.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Qatar

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Boooooooooooooooo

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well that answers just how greedy/short-sighted the ExCo is

Posted by: Josh86 | December 2, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

2026!!

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

a searing indictment from Grant Wahl: Choosing Qatar and Russia is the biggest indictment possible that FIFA is not a clean organization. Petrodollars talk.

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

International football (1930-2010)

Rest in peace

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

FIFA better hope that oil is still the thing that makes the world go 'round in 2018 and 2022....

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Wonder how the FIFA board members are going to take all those miniature giraffes on their return flights . . . . "Opulence, they has it."

Posted by: OWNTF | December 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

So we should get some oil money and come back another time, right? FIFA is a corpulent sack of cynicism.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | December 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

a searing indictment from Grant Wahl: Choosing Qatar and Russia is the biggest indictment possible that FIFA is not a clean organization. Petrodollars talk.

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

'oiled again!

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

International football (1930-2010)

Rest in peace

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

another blow for democratic countries

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Doh...ha?

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, this will transform Russia and Russians -- from a criminal, corrupt nation populated with bigots, to a modern, welcoming, open nation.

Haha, yeah, look at those Russians. They're all such bigots!

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Bill Simmons for "America's Reaction"...

sportsguy33 And... all the rumors about insane bribes being thrown around to get the 2022 World Cup have been proven correct! Wow.
2 minutes ago

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin will be able to travel to the 2018 WC easily.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

sour grapes. Qatar plan is quite cool. Imagine being able to get to any game within an hour or so. Not coast to coast flights. If FIFA really wanted the money, they would have chosen the US, since that would have been the biggest money spinner.

Posted by: mizage | December 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

When Russia was announced, I was feeling good. I was worried that they wouldn't give it to two English speaking countries, but Russia and Qatar blew me away.

Again, corruption and bribery win out.

Posted by: wmsiii | December 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

And the official anthem of FIFA has just been changed to the Wu Tang Clans'

"C.R.E.A.M"

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me"

GET THE MONEY!

Posted by: JPO2200 | December 2, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

2026, Blatter pushes for soccer in the final frontier -- Antarctica/Greenland.

Posted by: Reignking | December 2, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

South Africa was a "risk"... people don't even know how to say Qatar, let along know where on earth it is. FIFA might have finally blown their foot into a thousand bits. They have 2014 to use as a crutch for the time being, but I have no idea how this was allowed to happen.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps bookmakers can start laying odds on scenarios in which the host nation can't come through, and FIFA is forced to revisit the matter, as with Colombia in '86.

Posted by: universityandpark | December 2, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I feel for Australia. Yeah, it would have been great to have the US host again but if Sepp and FIFA truly wanted to spread the soccer wealth, Australia was the obvious pick. Not as risky as Qatar, climate better than Qatar and it is a budding soccer nation, much like we were in '94. (Although they already have an established league.)

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 2, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If we as Americans are smart, we will boycott going to the Qatar World Cup so they will lose money.
I don't want my money going to the cost of those stadiums that were the basis for them winning this bid, so that some third world country could have the stadiums moved to their country after the tournament and not be capable of taking care of them once they get them.
What are countries like Kenya going to do with a 80,000 seat arena? Nothing but let it rot between rare soccer matches that draw 25,000 people.

Posted by: stephen_james2 | December 2, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@Boo -- A lot of them are. There is a very visible presence for ultra-nationalist, neo-fascist, racist youth gangs/groups,some of whom were very prominent in the most recent election supporting the Putin/Medvedev party. There are a lot of stories of blacks that feel very unsafe in Russia -- Americans, Africans, etc... even soccer players. And,as a descendant of Russian Jew, I don't need a lesson in just how prevalent anti-Semitism has been in Russia historically and even in the present day.

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

We've got to be the surest thing ever for 2026, right? Right? RIGHT?!??!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I feel for Australia. Yeah, it would have been great to have the US host again but if Sepp and FIFA truly wanted to spread the soccer wealth, Australia was the obvious pick. Not as risky as Qatar, climate better than Qatar and it is a budding soccer nation, much like we were in '94. (Although they already have an established league.)

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 2, 2010 10:54 AM

yeah but, they are clearly viewing Qatar as an opportunity to build in the middle east, which is far more significant than Austrailia alone.

Posted by: VTUnited | December 2, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Man, did I just start rooting hard for Israel to qualify in 2022.

Posted by: IamAM | December 2, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

We've got to be the surest thing ever for 2026, right? Right? RIGHT?!??!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 2, 2010 10:56 AM

Might be up against a lot of other countries who'll feel they have a shot... China, England, Spain, Australia.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Might be up against a lot of other countries who'll feel they have a shot... China, England, Spain, Australia.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 2, 2010 11:00 AM |

Wouldn't China and Australia be out? Since they're both in AFC with Qatar?

Posted by: salecanard | December 2, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@stephen_james2

To be fair, the plan is to disassemble the upper decks of some of the stadiums, not move the entire thing to a third world country. It makes sense to me- how can you have much bigger of a white elephant than 12 massive stadia within about 50 miles of desert?

Posted by: carmines757 | December 2, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@IamAM: +1 on Israel in 2022. Also, Georgia in 2018.

Posted by: dccal | December 2, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@salecanard

Oh good, so we'll only have to compete against England and probably Spain

Posted by: carmines757 | December 2, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

sour grapes. Qatar plan is quite cool. Imagine being able to get to any game within an hour or so. Not coast to coast flights. If FIFA really wanted the money, they would have chosen the US, since that would have been the biggest money spinner.

Posted by: mizage
----------------------------

Yeah, right. And imagine the 120 degree heat, the lack of bars and booze, insanely expensive flights and hotels...but at least there are great cultural and tourist spots to visit.

And women are supposed to be able to vote in the 2013 national elections...unless they are pushed back again by the emir (as they were in 2008 and 2010).

Sour grapes? Maybe, but that doesn't mean this isn't the worst choice for a World Cup EVER. All the of the other 2022 bid countries would have been better.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 2, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@salecanard

Oh good, so we'll only have to compete against England and probably Spain

Posted by: carmines757 | December 2, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@salecanard

Oh good, so we'll only have to compete against England and probably Spain

But Russia is in "Europe" so no, since 2018 is Europe and 2022 is Asia that mean 20226 can only go to North America, South America, or Africa.

Posted by: AshburnUnited | December 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Fischy The statement "A lot of people from country X are bigots" is probably true regardless of X. Jumping from that to "X is populated by bigots" strikes me as, well, bigotry.

As far as Russia being welcoming, I was there for a couple weeks earlier this year and found the people quite friendly and helpful. The only sticking point was that very few people spoke English (or any other language that I know). Which is fine - I don't expect to be catered to in a foreign country - but it did make navigation a pain at times. We nearly missed our train from Moscow to St. Petersburg because we couldn't find anyone in the station that spoke a word of English, which has never happened to me in a European train station before.

Now, the criticism that Russia is corrupt, authoritarian, and has a shoddy human rights record is valid, but obviously that doesn't matter much to FIFA, or both Russia and Qatar would have been disqualified.

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 2, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope that we don't have another war raging in the middle east in 2022 involving Iran and Saudia Arabia. The Middle East is inherently unstable. If things don't work our they can always fall back on the USA, perennial Plan B.

Posted by: Golden_Child | December 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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