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It is Time for The World Cup to Come Home, to England


FIFA have a massive decision to make in December 2010: who will host the 2018 World Cup?

There are many strong contenders to stage the tournament, from Australia to Russia, but there should really only be one country in FIFA’s minds. As well as looking at transport links and stadia, the 24-man executive committee who will choose the hosts should consider history and tradition.

They can inspect the financial stability of a nation all they like, and closely examine how easy it will be for teams to travel to and from their match destinations, but when FIFA discover that these factors are pretty much equal in the countries leading the race, the deciding vote must be given based on the answers to a few questions:

1) Which countries have hosted the World Cup before, and how recently did they do so?

2) How popular is football in each country? And so which country would put on the biggest show?

The final question that the committee should ask themselves is that of: Which country actually invented football? England is the answer of course, and the question then is: Has 52 years been too long to have not had a World Cup hosted by the country that actually came up with the idea of the damn game?

FIFA would not even be welcoming bids for the 2018 football World Cup if English citizens hadn’t thought up the idea of kicking a ball between two posts over 100 years ago. Surely, after the soccer world-tour has found itself at places from Japan to Mexico, it is time for football to return back to its home, back to its roots.

And after the greatest show on Earth has visited South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014, having the World Cup hosted by a time-zone friendly nation like England would be something FIFA would welcome as well. Europe would not have to get up during the night to witness the matches, nor would a lot of Africa.

Those reasons are not the most important though. As well as the country’s footballing history and tradition, England would offer truly electric atmospheres at world-class stadiums. Wembley would be buzzing, Old Trafford bustling and St James Park vibrant. England’s own football fanatics would unite with the world’s colourful and passionate supporters to create an unforgettable backdrop to the magical football on the pitch.

Nobody is doubting the capabilities of other contenders like Australia or Russia though. Both of those nations would certainly put on a spectacle to behold, but is the passion for football really as a great as in England?

Other nations hoping to host the 2018 tournament are Spain and Portugal, who are putting together a joint bid, the USA, who surely couldn’t be considered after hosting the tournament in 1994, and Mexico, who have had the cheek to bid again after already staging two previous World Cups. They cannot be seriously considered either.

Japan and South Korea have both tabled individual bids as well, having jointly hosted the 2002 tournament, and they must surely be out of the running before the voting process has even begun for that very reason.

FIFA appear to be less keen on joint bids this time around, so it also seems unlikely that efforts from Spain and Portugal or The Netherlands and Belgium will succeed. 

So there is no doubt that England, Australia and Russia have the best chance of winning the right to host the 2018 World Cup, but if they fail with their bids these countries could be helped by FIFA’s new voting strategy. It will also be decided in December 2010 who will host the 2022 World Cup, and nations that are unsuccessful with their 2018 bids are invited to bid again straight away for 2022. So there is every chance that two of these three leading contenders for 2018 will get to host a World Cup in the near future, maybe even all three.

But we must hope it doesn’t come to that for England. It will be extremely disappointing if FIFA decide a nation like Russia or Mexico is more worthy of hosting a World Cup than England, the great England that invented football.

It must be time for football to come home, for Wembley to stage another World Cup Final and for England’s passionate fans to sing their hearts out on home territory. And who knows, it might even be time for the next generation’s version of Bobby Moore to lift the famous trophy itself once more.

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  1. Sam Dalton

    February 7, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    kkfla737, I can understand your point about alot of people around the world having a negative opinion of English football fans, but really there are hardly ever problems these days at matches here.
    And I acknowledge that FIFA would make more money from a World Cup in he USA, but they hosted it only 15 years ago, wheras England hasn't had it since 1966. For the country that invented football to be aloud to host less World Cups than the likes of Mexico and USA, two nations that are more interested in other sports, would be a disgrace in my opinion.

  2. kkfla737

    February 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    We had a shooting at a game in the US last year: the US-Mexico game. When was the last time someone was shot in an english football ground?

    People in the US carry guns, ESPECIALLY in rural areas. Sadly it's part of the American ethos of individualism, freedom, etc………..

    I for one would personally feel safer walking the streets of London at midnight than of Topeka, KS in the middle of the day, but maybe that's my liberal bias. 🙂

    From a sentimental standpoint England should be the front runner but it's never that simple. Many in the football world are envious of England or simply hate England. The reputation of hooliganism continues though it is somewhat unwarranted as I have said.

    But the informal survey I took was mostly of Latins, and Africans. They would much prefer the world cup to NOT be in England. They aren't being fair, but if the process were fair England would have hosted another World Cup as far back as 1982 or 1990.

  3. Django

    February 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I'd be interested to know if this “informal survey” involved anything more than asking a couple friends what they think of England. And you make it sound like every Tom and Harry in the US is walking around with a pistol…it's not exactly the Old West. All-encompassing statements like “people carry guns in the US and do not in Britain” are mostly just foolish and irresponsible. There are certainly dangerous parts of the US and its cities, but I'd think that's true anywhere. I'm not qualified to say anything about Britain, so I won't, but maybe I'll do an informal survey to find out. Nice plug for your site though.

  4. kkfla737

    February 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    No offense Sam because I've liked almost all of your writing on this site, but your piece just outlined the reason so many around the globe resent English football supporters.

    The fact is England has very real problems as a potential host nation which is why the 2006 bid never really got off the ground. On Major League Soccer Talk, I detail why Australia or the US would be a better host nation.

    Believe it or not, English fans have a horrible reputation around the globe. Perhaps it's not deserved: I believe we probably have more hooliganism between the US and Canada than England has today. BUT, the fact is that in an informal survey I've done, many foreign fans would rather not travel to parts of England north of London.

    I don't personally agree with this sentiment. The United States is a much more dangerous country than the UK particularly at football matches. A fan was shot at a game I was at last year. Keep in mind people carry guns in the US and do not in Britain.
    Atlante, the Mexican Champions of the 2007 Apertura can tell you how dangerous the US is after incidents at a Superliga match in Foxboro this past summer. But the perception is different than that.

    Additionally, FIFA is into generating revenue. The amount of money they can make in the US in unequaled.

    Check out my post at:

  5. Alex Z

    February 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    “England invented the game, without which the World Cup would not even be possible.”

    Can't you use that argument for every World Cup year? Why not give the World Cup to England in '26, '30, '34, and so forth – they invented the game, and therefore have the right to host it!

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