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Common Sense Evades FIFA In Awarding 2018 & 2022 World Cups to Russia & Qatar

For someone like me who has ties to both England and the United States, the decision by FIFA to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively hurts.

I watched the announcement Thursday morning on BBC World News from my cabin aboard the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship while sailing north west of Cuba on unusually stormy seas. To say that the news beamed live from Zurich on Thursday put a sour note on my vacation is putting it lightly.

When FIFA President Sepp Blatter pulled Russia’s name from the envelope for the 2018 World Cup, I was disappointed. But when Blatter announced the winner of the 2022 World Cup, I was furious. How could FIFA committee members award the 2022 competition to a country that has never qualified for the World Cup and when the tournament would be played during summertime in the brutally hot deserts?

In some ways, I’m not surprised by FIFA’s decisions. FIFA has often failed to exercise common sense whether it’s regarding its refusal to utilize technology to make the game fairer, or whether it’s FIFA’s decision to have committee members vote on the 2018 and 2022 tournaments at the same time, which increased the likelihood of collusion.

Also FIFA’s long history of bribery, corruption and other unsavory actions doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence. As investigate reporter Andrew Jennings has proven time after time, money often corrupts FIFA’s decision.

I have no evidence that Qatar or Russia offered bribes to influence votes in their favor to win the 2022 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, but as WikiLeaks showed again Thursday, Russia continues to have a history of government corruption. And Qatar was suggested to have been in collusion with Spain and Portugal according to Lord Triesman.

The frustrating aspect of the awarding of the World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar is that it seems that FIFA is only interested in generating long-term revenue streams. By hosting the first World Cup tournaments in the former Soviet Union and an Arab country, FIFA will financially benefit in the long term from the new interest in the sport by people within that region and, even more importantly for FIFA, legions of new sponsors who will be attracted to the game.

If FIFA’s goal regarding the World Cup is to bring it to different areas of the world, as well as leaving a legacy of what Sepp Blatter achieves as FIFA president, then the writing is on the wall for future tournaments. That’s good news for China and Australia, but bad news for England and the United States of America.

You have to wonder how damaging the UK media was to the 2018 England World Cup bid especially as The Sunday Times and BBC Panorama exposed bribery within FIFA’s ranks. Seemingly investigative journalism that exposes FIFA doesn’t go down too well among FIFA committee members. We have to wonder whether this was a determining factor in England being knocked out in the first round of bidding for the 2018 World Cup.

Regarding the 2022 tournament, the US World Cup bid organizers may not have been too pleased with The Guardian newspaper who was complicit in support of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid when it wrote a piece of puffery after the reporter was sent on an expense-paid trip to Doha, paid for by the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Committee.

But while Russia’s winning bid for the 2018 World Cup wasn’t a complete surprise, Qatar winning the 2022 one was a complete shock. Other than hosting the tournament in a region that has never had a World Cup tournament, there seems to be hardly any good reasons why Qatar should have won. The nation has never qualified for a World Cup tournament before. The weather conditions are brutally hot. But even with air-conditioned stadiums that will then be deconstructed and transported to third-world countries, you have to wonder what carbon footprint that will leave.

England and the United States were well deserving of hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments respectively. Now the earliest that England can host the tournament is 2030, while the United States will have to wait just as long.

Maybe next time our hopes will not be as high as they were this time especially when common sense goes out the window when FIFA is involved. The awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar is depressing news for the western world, but at least we have our domestic leagues to enjoy instead.

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  1. Realist

    June 30, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I rooted for Russia to get it in 2018, and I’m glad they got it! They’ve got the market, the passion, the desire, the money, the land, and the willpower to make it happen. Me and my friends have already made plans to attend the matches there…

    For 2022, I wanted Australia to host it as it’s wealthy, footie is steadily growing there, and it still keeps the FIFA “New Markets” theme… And it was a shocker Qatar got it, as in totally unbelievable. I’d most probably pass on attending this one…


    October 7, 2011 at 3:09 am

    RUSSIA is hosting fifa world cup 2018 , its a mindblowing and good news. russia truely deserve it. england never deserve, such a small country cant organise fifa world cup. russia good luck

  3. The Gaffer

    January 15, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Here’s a recently released investigative piece by The Wall Street Journal which shows how the Qatar World Cup Bid Committee splashed the cash to encourage FIFA delegates to choose Qatar for World Cup 2022 against all conventional wisdom and common sense:

    The Gaffer

    • sucka99

      January 16, 2011 at 5:56 am

      Until FIFA reform the voting process this will continue to happen. I love how Blatter is now trying to move it to the winter even tho that was never part of the bid. Making up the rules as they go along is either a sign of incompetence or impropriety. Or both.

  4. Slugs

    December 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Barcelona to advertise Qatar Foundation on jerseys

    Looks like the Qatar World Cup bid money is coming in handy these days….

  5. AJ

    December 5, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Let me throw everyone’s common sense into question. We hear a lot about Clubs in Europe forming a Super League. I ask, if you were power that is do you send your national side to either of these WCs. For me, Russia probably, Qatar, yeah right. Will we see actual resistance to these WCs, I’d like to think so.

  6. Carolyn

    December 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Well said, Joe. I was all for South Africa being awarded the WC in 2010 when many questioned that decision and now I am all for Russia and Qatar being awarded the World Cup too.

    If wer’e going to start talking about racism and antisemitism in football, let’s not forget that even in England it exists. Muslim players are often taunted with shouts of “terrorist”. England hosted the WC in 1966 when racism was systemic in the nation then. Look it up.

    It’s convenient to focus on the present and ignore the past.

  7. Joe

    December 4, 2010 at 12:20 am

    And Gaffer, you’re just further proving my point. The US, England, and Australia were honest?? You honestly believe that these nations, considering their history of genocide, abuse, and war, have suddenly become honest overnight?

    • The Gaffer

      December 4, 2010 at 8:07 am

      Joe, what nationality are you?

      Genocide, abuse and war have been traits of many nations around the world in the history of this planet. USA, England and Australia included. If we ruled out countries that had a history of this, we wouldn’t have too many to choose from each four years to host the World Cup.

      Judging by the poor number of votes that England, USA and Australia got in the first round of voting Thursday, it doesn’t appear that cash-for-votes were offered for the bids for these three countries. Their votes were incredibly low and poor.

      The Gaffer

      • Joe

        December 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        What I’m saying is that it’s all too convenient for us in industrialized “first world” nations to complain about corruption and cheating now after we used those strategies for centuries to become what we are. We’re taking a moral high ground that we’ve amazingly managed to stumble upon after generations of digging in the filth. You don’t see the hypocrisy here?

  8. Nahum

    December 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I wonder how many of the people shocked by the qatar’s world cup winning , were just as shocked when the USA was awarded with the 1994 world cup? I mean the USA had not been in a world cup for almost 4 decades and they still got the world cup despite the fact that they were unable to qualify for 36 years to a world cup, so their awarding to host the 1994 world cup, was just as ridiculous as the qatar’s wining. was there bribering involved? of course there was, was there corruption involved? just ask the Mexican federation, and you’ll know that there was corruption.
    after the 1986 world cup, the USA chances to qualify to the 1990 world cup were very very slim, take Mexico out of the qualifyng tournament and their chances quadruple, and thats exactly what fifa did, sanctioning Mexico for a Violation for wich Brasil only got a slap on the hand.
    so American stop whining because you should be the lasts one to be bitching about it

    • word

      December 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      The US had a history, albeit not much of one, in international soccer, and with various national leagues including the NASL, which had flamed out only a few years before the 94 World Cup was awarded to the US. The sporting culture of the US is arguably the greatest in the entire world; supporting the world’s best basketball, baseball, and ice hockey leagues along with American football. It was also one of 2 super powers in the world at the time. Third, the population was roughly 240 million. The US men’s national team has qualified for every World Cup since then.

      Qatar has no history in any sport to speak of. It’s population is minuscule. It’s soccer, sorry football, team would not advance out of a group consisting of teams chosen from the Caribbean island nations of CONCACAF. Ridiculous indeed.

  9. AJ

    December 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    If FIFA is exploring new frontiers, the question must be asked is it working? In South Africa there are 16 clubs in their to flight soccer league.

    The average attendance last season was roughly 7,600. If you look at this year’s average attendance so far guess what, it comes out to about the same number! That’s some pretty great progress FIFA. (The actually avg. attendance for this season comes out to about 7685)

    Let’s look at how Russia stacks up. This past season the Russian Premier League had an average attendance of just over 12,000. Only one stadium in the Russian top flight is of WC standard and it’s a plastic pitch! Obviuosly England will do almost 3 times better than that even with 3 times more matches. Even MLS as better attendance than the RPL

    And now Qatar. Before I present my facts here we must point the finger at the Swiss-cheese brain head-man at FIFA Sepp Blatter. Ok this man will not be aroudn to see this WC in 2022. Where am I headed with this is that we don’t need not worry, we’ll get a sensible person as FIFA president (not Jack Warner) and the probelms will be exposed and the greatest corruption scam in history will be revealed and Sepp Blatter will spent the final days of his life in prison. That’s just my opinion but let’s move to facts.

    Wait what’s this? The Qatar League doesn’t even put attendances up! So let me try this now. Qatar has to build or expand every stadium as a part of their bid. Another question where the green grass are we going to keep everyone if this country isn’t as big as most U.S. states? The last WC had a total attendance nearly 3 times the population of Qatar, surely FIFA isn’t banking on a smaller attendance because that’s not very progressive. The U.S. can give a WC with 65,000 plus at every game. Most of these Qatar will be not be expanded 50,000 even which tells me that FIFA wasn’t looking for revenue from the event itself.

    So I’ve kinda just proven with these facts that this vote wasn’t about football it was about money now so that the next group of FIFA committee members will have to deal with the flops that these 2 WC will be should they both be held in these respective countries.

  10. Smokey Bacon

    December 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Andy Anson’s comments today are just the start. This will all unravel. FIFA have really overeached this time with this bullshit. Everyone involved knows it’s bent, its just a matter of time before the journo’s dig up the truth, especially if Wikileaks looks into it. And to the tools on here saying just get over it and score one versus the old empires….I guess its ok to cheat and lie to people’s faces then. Anson should have went further than he did and name & shame those delegates who told him, the prime minister, Prince William and Beckham they were voting for us. Basically England and Australia were blindsided in a manner that would not have looked out of place on Survivor.

  11. fieroo

    December 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Does Qatar have a democratic system? I’m still puzzled by this decision. I guess if China can have Olympic games, then anything can happen…

  12. Howard

    December 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I think we also must remember FIFA have a mandate to constantly review the progression of each bid and the claims they made. Aside from the stupid Qatar decision Russia actually has the biggest challenge. As a country they are financially in a giant hole and unless the mafia (or a generous rogue nation with plenty of cash to loan) build the nine or so new super stadiums with the massive transportation infrastruture they also promised, I can see them being disqualified at a later date. Eight years is like tomorrow when trying to plan and build something this enourmous. One new stadium with infrastructure is a 3-5 year project when well organised and funded. A country the size of Russia who has failed to modernise from the pre Soviet era of twenty years ago, I just don’t see them coming through. China would have more of a chance.

    Qatar doesn’t have financial problems (currently) but also has to find and prove the technology to build the supercooled “kit” stadiums. They can probably achieve this, but really! a country with hardly an interest in football, no fan base, 100F at midnight, restictive laws on dress and behaviour, publicly hates Jews (be interesting if Israel make it). Undoubtably Blatter and his cronies are trousering some goodies and it ain’t herds of camels. FIFA is so obviously corrupt and uncontrolled no matter how many reports came out of the English press and TV (and they were very revealing if you haven’t read the London Times sting operation that exposed certain FIFA delegates) unless you are prepared to slip the members something on the side then you’re out. Therefore, the boot for England/USA/Oz. Ultimate power corrupts.

    • Andrei

      December 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      “…Russia actually has the biggest challenge. As a country they are financially in a giant hole and unless the mafia (or a generous rogue nation with plenty of cash to loan) build the nine or so new super stadiums with the massive transportation infrastruture they also promised, I can see them being disqualified at a later date.”

      I thought it was the US and Western European countries that were in a financial hole. Some European countries on the brink of bankruptcy unless they are bailed out. UK is not doing particularly well either or what are those austerity measures all about? Actually, because of the authoritarian and centralized nature of government Russia has a better chance to pull resources together and come through. And unlike western democracies they don’t have to sustain pampered debt driven high standards of living for general populace in the process.

      • Howard

        December 3, 2010 at 8:15 pm

        It doesn’t matter about the financial status of European countries. Russia has to pull this off. Do you really think Russia has the skills necessary to build stadiums and infrastructure that meets Western standards in such a short time? It does not have a skilled workforce to compete with the west on such a scale. Extremely poor standards of living results in a demoralised unskilled work force. Can you name one industry the west has snapped up since the fall of communism? The former state industries are derelict and sitting vacant. Aeroflot is a perfect example, it flies Airbus’ while its former Tupolevs and Illuyshins are rotting at disused airfields.

        To pull it off Russia will have to dig deep and pay for Western skills and management. And of course sort out how they will pay and how to control the infighting of its Government/Mafia both eager to skim the profits. Then we have Putin a throw back to the bad old days. Going to be interesting.

        • Andrei

          December 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

          So you are saying that the financial status of European countries doesn’t matter? Spain and Portugal are for all means and purposes are broke. It will take 10-15 years to dig them out of the financial hole … and only if they take draconian measures to cut welfare spending. Which in turn may cause significant social unrest. Which may result in “a demoralized unskilled work force”. Do you think that the selection committee didn’t take this into consideration?

          As for Russia’s ability to pull it through do you think that South Africa had more skills and better starting point? Russia has 2014 Winter Olympics and as far as know the preparations are on target. And Ukraine which is very similar to Russia is going to pull it through with hosting Euro 2012 so it seems …

  13. Jason

    December 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Screw the middle east, those guys think they can buy anything. And they are. What a terrible region of the world, one that is domniated by that stupid cult called islam.

    This is a reflection of society as a whole. The secular Western society is caught up in its paganist wordly riches (represented by FIFA), while the muslims (like Qatar) manipulates them with temptations. Before Western society knows it, they will be overwhelmed. Islam is conducting a ideological warfare in addition to a terrorist warfare. What is scary is that they are winning the ideological warfare. This decision by FIFA is another representation of that. They think by putting the World Cup there that the world is “tolerant” and “accpeting” of this violent and sick middle eastern culture. (Of course that is what they will say while they feast on their new riches for the votes that were bought.)

    In reality the muslims know that in the name of tolerance, the Western society is actually being taken over by them. But we should not embrace the middle eastern culture. We must defeat them. Its the only way to wipe out the stain in this world that is Islam. We must save the beautiful Christain western society that we have from being wiped out.

    • MennoDaddy

      December 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

      You sound like a Tea Bagger. Knock it off. It’s a poor decision, but it’s football.

      • Dave C

        December 3, 2010 at 9:45 am

        Lets just be thankful that it took a whole 77 comments before the real idiots came out to play.

        • Jason

          December 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

          Wow I offended a couple of libs with my comments eh? Mission Accomplished 🙂

          • MennoDaddy

            December 3, 2010 at 11:29 am

            Yes, yes, I’m sure Glenn Beck is quite pleased with you. Frak off.

          • Dave C

            December 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm

            Ah wow, the great American school of debate…say stupid stuff, and then when someone calls you on it, assume the’re a “lib” (as if “liberal” in itself was an insult)

    • Joe

      December 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      “In one 2003 study, researchers found students who considered themselves either very liberal, or very conservative, and had them participate in a computerized test designed to find out which type of person was less prone to “knee-jerk” reactions. They were told to press a key when an M appeared on the screen, and not to hit a key if a W appeared.

      Study participants were wired to an EEG to read brain activity during the test. EEG readouts showed liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than their conservative counterparts. In a second round, the
      scores and brain activity were the same when the letters M and W were switched.

      Liberals were nearly five-times more likely to show complex brain activity when analyzing the split-second difference between an M and a W, and two-times more precise in selecting the correct response. To scientists, this data suggested liberals were literally more open-minded and, “…could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.”

      • Dave C

        December 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        Oh please, can you American’s give it a rest with this “everyone is either a ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’, and one must be better than the other” malarky. We were talking about the World Cup

        • Dave C

          December 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

          Sorry, meant Americans (plural) not American’s (possesive). Never a good idea to make spelling mistakes when you’re trying to patronize people!

  14. sucka99

    December 3, 2010 at 2:02 am

    “If FIFA’s goal regarding the World Cup is to bring it to different areas of the world, as well as leaving a legacy of what Sepp Blatter achieves as FIFA president, then the writing is on the wall for future tournaments. That’s good news for China and Australia, but bad news for England and the United States of America.”

    this says it perfectly. I think we can forget about a USA World Cup anytime before the 2050’s! England has a chance probably if Germany won 4 years ago – esp if Blatter is out of there by the next bid process, but I can see WC2026 going to China regardless of confed rules and 2030 maybe going to Romania/Bulgaria or Argentina/Uruguay or something.

    • RVPFan

      December 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

      Oh Man!! don’t say that! I would be dead by the time US gets to host World Cup again. How f**** sad 🙁

  15. dlink09

    December 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    lets get one thing straight.. Politics is part of life in any organization.. just look at your workplace… having said that i never believed England will get 2018 bid regardless of UK Media. Russia was favorite all along in my opinion.

    But giving 2012 to Qatar is *******. i would have felt better if they have given it to Iran or Saudi Arabia, at least they participated in world cups..

    setting up two world cup bids at same time is utter ******..

    • Joe

      December 3, 2010 at 7:41 am

      How hard is this to understand? FIFA wanted to give a World Cup to the Middle East, and Qatar is uniquely positioned to pull it off. It’s small size is actually a benefit (no travel), they have the money to deliver world-class stadiums, and, THIS IS THE BIG ONE, they are willing to suspend their Sharia law for global visitors for the duration of the World Cup!

  16. Abdul

    December 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    jock of the day, Qatar is the hosting country of 2022 world cup. i thought it would be Australia or USA. Qatar never qualified for world cup. even in asian football history isn’t backing them. just only one time they play quarterfinal in Asian cup. tiny little country will host 2022, what a shame! Show money and win the bid. the heat of the June in July will be 50°C. people will not stay all the time in stadiums.

    • Joe

      December 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      jock of the day!

  17. Abdul

    December 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    jock of the day, Qatar is the hosting country of 2022 world cup. i thought it would be Australia or USA. Qatar never qualified for world cup. even in asian football history isn’t backing them. just only one time they play quarterfinal in Asian cup. tiny little country will host 2022, what a shame! Show money and win the bid. the heat of the June an July will be 50°C. people will not stay all the time in the stadiums.

  18. Patrick

    December 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    So wanna see who votes for the USA? check out our rep.

    notice a nice photo of the beard with Putin.

  19. soonerscotty

    December 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    It will be especially interesting to see how Qatar works their passport/visa programs.

    From what I can gather on the interwebs any association with Israel bars travelers from Qatar:
    “Note also that any visible connection with Israel, e.g. an Israeli passport or an Israeli entry stamp, will disqualify you from entry.”

    This is from a page titled “Introduction, Documentation Required to Enter Qatar” found here

    Makes me really want the Israeli team to make the 2022 WC Final!!

  20. Jamie

    December 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you Evelyn for your post. Well said.

    • Gaz Hunt

      December 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      It would be racism if we were to say Qatar didn’t deserve the World Cup because of the people. The Qatar people don’t come into the conversation – please actually read why people disagree with the selection.

      Speaking of which, wouldn’t you agree that there are probably more Middle Eastern people in the US (and maybe even England) given that it has the population of a medium-sized US city?

      • Joe

        December 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm

        The World Cup is in Qatar, but really this world cup belongs to the Middle East as a whole. Qatar is uniquely positioned as a small, rich, and (compared to other nations in the region) liberal place.

        The subtle racism is evident in the paranoid terrorism concerns. Because as we all know, terrorist attacks never take place outside the Middle East.

        • Gaz Hunt

          December 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm

          Nobody brought that up at all! At least in this article / comments.

          I’ve read all the comments but did a quick search anyway on this page for bombs, security, terrorism, etcetera and only your comment and #52 (in reference to Russia) came up.

          Can you point to any other place in the article / comments that someone expressed this as a concern?

          • Joe

            December 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

            I might have been referring to a comment board on another article when I pointed out the subtle racism. So, my apologies.

  21. Name: Mark

    December 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I agree with commentators who say that the loss of the world cup to the US reflects our diminished standing in the world. I wonder, what percentage of Tea Partiers every touched a soccer ball?

  22. Joe

    December 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Yes Evelyn. A Thousand Times Yes.

  23. Evelyn

    December 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Get over it. This is a new world we live in, not one dominated by the old empires. It’s refreshing that the world’s most popular sport is to be played in Russia and the Middle-East. So what if Qatar has never qualified? Should that disqualify a nation? What if a nation last qualified over a quarter century ago? I hate to say it but there is a hint of racism in some of your arguments even if it is subtle. Too bad because this beautiful game has always brought diverse peoples together.

    • Gaz Hunt

      December 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      Speaking of racism, James Richardson and company were discussing the rampant racism still present at contemporary Russian football matches.

      • Joe

        December 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm

        Racism is an issue all over the soccer world. Mario Balotelli and Samuel Eto’o hear racist chants all over Europe. To single out Russia is a bit unfair.

        • bb

          December 3, 2010 at 7:00 am

          not really…being married to an asian woman and after seeing and researching the violence perpetuated towards minorities and outsiders in ‘developed’ areas of Russia, long before this decision today, I had crossed Russia off the list of places I would ever consider taking my bride for worldly travels….racism is everywhere, but openly violent street thuggery and neo-nazi violence is less prevalent, save a few places (ahem…russia…ahem).

        • Gaz Hunt

          December 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

          Not trying to single them out or be unfair but it seems to be a bit more widespread in Russia. While in Europe you have your group of idiots, whole stadiums of people take part in the chants in Russia.

          I’m not unhappy Russia got the bid. This is an opportunity for them to tackle the problem.

  24. Smokey Bacon

    December 2, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Graham Taylor of all people sums it up nicely……

    The former England manager Graham Taylor was unsurprised. He told Radio 5 Live: “I ask the question: ‘What were we expecting?’ Fifa, for me, is full of people who say ‘yes’ to your face and ‘no’ behind your back. Their reputation has not changed for many years. We have little or no influence; we are considered to be arrogant and know-alls and Fifa don’t have to answer to anyone.

    “I’m surprised that we’re surprised. This has been going on for years and we’ve been aware of a lot of things going on around the back.”

  25. Smokey Bacon

    December 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Putting the bribery and vote trading to one side, what other “criteria” decided these ludicrous awards? Russia at least has some footballing tradition but Qatar? That will be a total vanity project immediately forgotten after the tournament ends. I also predict it will be the costliest and least followed tournament. Nobody will go down there in 50F heat and no alcohol. They even say they will dismantle the stadiums after they are done! Some chance of growing the game in that part of the world. And as for Russia? They could barely stage the champions league final let alone a 64 game tournament. If either go tits up in the preparations I hope England says “f*ck off” when FIFA come calling for someone to step in and bail them out.

  26. Dave C

    December 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I could tolerate losing to Russia (it’s their first time, they’re a footballing power of some standing), but in the light of the Qatar victory, it just makes me think the whole thing was rigged.

    And I’m surprised that we only managed to get ONE vote (other than our own). It was fixed for sure.

    Most of all, I’m dissappointed that FIFA is structured in such a way as to allow representatives from mickey mouse corrupt banana republics to carry so much power. No wonder people sniff bribery.

    • Has

      December 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      ‘Mickey mouse corrupt banana republics’ – you need to get a life and try to not be such a racist. You just insulted an entire country and why? spoilt boy didnt get what he wanted? Throwing a hissy fit are we? I am dissappointed that there are so many people like you in the world. You want to go back to the good old days when the UK and US could get whatever they wanted. Remember back in the day England practically owned FIFA. It wasn’t corrupt back then. And if you want to see some real evidence of corruption head over ot wikileaks – theres a real example of American democracy at its absolute best!

      • The Gaffer

        December 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

        A “Banana republic” is a commonly used term that refers to a politically unstable country dependent upon limited agriculture (e.g. bananas), and ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, and (but not necessarily) corrupt politico-economic clique. See for more information.

        The Gaffer

        • Dave C

          December 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm

          Thanks for the defence!

          I stand by my point that I think it’s ridiculous that representatives from places like T&T, Guatamala, and Thailand* have such decisive voices on this matter. I mean seriously, if you were to pick 22 nations who were capable for making a football decision, would you pick those countries? Sure, the US and UK have some problems (as do any country in the world), but they pale into insignificance compared to those places.

          Before I had a green-card, I worked alongside a lot of Guatamalans and Trinis, and they would be the first to admit that their countries are full of corruption, contract-killings, people-trafficking, voodoo superstitions and all kinds of incredible stuff, not to mention their obvious economical problems.

          *I could have added the footballing powerhouse of Tahiti to that list, but surprise surprise, their representative got banned from voting due to suspicion of bribery.

        • Has

          December 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

          I’m sorry but racism is defined as a negative generalisation of a race. Calling Qatar a mickey mouse banana republic is not a negative generalisation. The comment, which you felt needed to be defended, was a negative generalisation of a nation. Qatar is not run by self-elected wealthy. That is just your perception of the nation. AND there is nothing wrong with being small nation. I am really disappointed in you gaffer. Jason at 99 – that type of thing is not commented on. But me calling out that guy for stereotyping and writing negative comments. Thats what you choose to pull up?

          • Dave C

            December 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

            I never referred to Qatar as a mickey mouse banana republic. When I referred to such countries “holding such power” I meant the power to decide who hosts the world cup – i.e. the voting countries such as T&T, Guatemala, Thailand, Tahiti, etc.

            I could forgive you for misunderstanding my initial post on the subject, but I thought the second one would have cleared things up.

          • word

            December 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm

            Qatar is an absolute monarchy. The line of succession is hereditary. That’s about as self-elected as you can find.

            There is nothing wrong with being a small nation, unless you’re trying to host the world’s most important sporting event. Especially when the small country in question has no sporting infrastructure to speak of to host this event.

  27. brn442

    December 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Gaffer, you are allowing your current and mother country’s hubris to get the best of you?

    I was surprised at the Russian win but why not? Post Soviet Russia is a confident, emerging country. Apart from potential issues of air quality, racism, police and security, it makes sense.

    Qatar’s win almost made me choke on my cornflakes. The country barely has a million people, has virtually no footballing history on a senior level, and is in a fairly unstable part of the world. However – the game changer probably was their plan to dis-assemble the stadia after the the tournament and rebuild them in developing countries. Was it altruistic or a cynical ploy to win (bribe even ) African/Concacaf votes? – who knows but it was brilliant and it worked.

    The heat will be unbearable although, according to the hosts, there will be state of the art cooling systems built w/ the stadia but – will enough people actually show up to notice.

    • The Gaffer

      December 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      I was disappointed with Russia winning it, especially since the country is quite racist and has a poor transportation system, but Russia — as Kartik Krishnaiyer — predicted several months ago was always the frontrunner for 2018. As for 2022, I think it’s a disgrace that Qatar won.

      The Gaffer

      • Has

        December 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm

        I think its a disgrace that you allow racist comments on your site. That your article encourgaes racist comments. Ever heard of disabling them. I was surprised about Qatar too – wanted to take part in a reasonable discussion. But some people’s comments. It makes my skin crawl the way they are so obvously racist and rude. This type of thing shouldn’t be tolerated. Seriously. It has put me right off coming back here.

        • The Gaffer

          December 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm

          Has, you should see the ones that are moderated and not included! Some foul comments sneak through now and again, but for the most part the racist ones are removed. I go through the site daily to clean it up. If you see some that are offensive, please post a comment underneath it in case I missed it.

          The Gaffer

      • Joe

        December 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        And in one turn of phrase, you’ve revealed the problem with your article and this site in general. “the country is quite racist.” This is said with no examples, proof, comparisons, nothing. Just an out-of-left-field statement. I’d love to read more if you substantiated your statements instead of just…making them.

        • The Gaffer

          December 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

          Joe, Russia’s problem with racism is well known. See these articles for evidence: and

          The Gaffer

          • Joe

            December 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm

            Thanks for the response and the articles which I will now read. I still think your phrasing was unfortunate. It’s one thing to say that a country has a problem with racism. It’s quite another to say that country IS racist.

            • The Gaffer

              December 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

              Good point Joe. I didn’t mean to say that Russia is racist. The country has a problem with it, yes. But not all people in Russia are racist.

              The Gaffer

          • Andrei

            December 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm

            Gaffer the articles you referred to are not evidence by any stretch of imagination. A journalist’s opinion at best. The second article talks primarily about infrastructure challenges to host WC in Russia.

            Do you have any factual information demonstrating racial discrimination, segregation, race based economic or social disparity in Russia as a systemic problem?

            From what I’ve seen it could be roughly categorized as bigotry or xenophobia. They have these problems deeply rooted in their history. Just in case you are not aware Russia is very diverse country and a home to more than 180 nationalities and ethnic groups.

            • The Gaffer

              December 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm

              Andrei, one of the BBC’s articles features an interview with a Ghanian footballer who plays in Russia and says that the issue of racism is systemic throughout Russian football. I could go on to list additional examples but there are far too many to choose from. When you google “racism in russia soccer,” the search engine returns over 500,000 results.

              The Gaffer

              • Andrei

                December 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

                Using Google only proves that the racist incidents are well publicized and cross referenced on the Internet. But number of results alone is not indication of how systemic the problem is. Are you saying that there are more than 500,000 documented racial incidents in Russia?

                And I’m not even arguing that the problem doesn’t exist. What I’m not accepting is generalization and overly casual statements about racism. To me it borders with bigotry.

                Keep in mind that what you call racism has different context in different cultures. For example, Russia didn’t have racial discrimination or segregation history similar to what happened in the US. Therefore, technically speaking you cannot claim racism problems in Russia using definitions born by the US experiences. You will not find much evidence indicating institutionalized racism or race based economic disparities. That is why I think that certain social reactions in Russia routinely attributed to racism by the pro-western media can be more accurately described xenophobic reactions.

                And the US cannot go too high nosed about it either. It is true that many racial problems have been addressed in the US but unfortunately only at the superficial level. Yes, it is unacceptable almost a social taboo to express any racist sentiment in public. But deep down the racial discrimination is still there – just look at poverty levels or crime rates in racial minority groups. And taking a look across the Atlantic – should I mention French banlieues?

                • Joe

                  December 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

                  And can we please call a spade a spade when it comes to the subtle racism about Qatar?

                  Whether people want to admit it or not, the fact that many people’s first reaction to hearing Qatar was “bribery” is an indication of what people automatically assume about wealth in the Middle East. You can say some of it may be based in fact, just like you can say that the fact that white Americans feel uncomfortable in black neighborhoods is based in the “fact” that crime rates are higher there. But the disappointing part has been just how easily many people have accepted the bribery angle without any specific evidence relating to the Qatari bid.

                  There was controversy involving an embedded journalist exposing two voters willing to take a bribe…ok. Can you honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that if Australia or US had won the bid, you would ever consider bribery as part of the reason? If someone posted a comment on a blog that Australia won because of a bribe, would you blindly accept it the way you’ve blindly accepted slanderous comments about the Qatari bid? Underlying all of this is a general mistrust of the Middle East. Does this mistrust have basis in world affairs? Sure. Does it mean that mistrust should be automatically applied to a situation in which we have no hard evidence, in which the blogosphere has accepted these accusations hook, line, and sinker? No.

                  And if that’s not an argument for involving them in the global community via a World Cup celebration, I don’t know what is.

                • The Gaffer

                  December 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

                  Joe, people’s first reaction when they hear the word “FIFA” is bribery. I don’t believe bribery is the first thing people think of when they heard that Qatar won. It was one of shock, but after the news sunk in, bribery was definitely something I thought of especially when you see how many FIFA committee members voted for the country. Australia, the US and England got burned for being too honest. Money talks and the two oil-rich countries, Russia and Qatar, were victors.,

                  Joe, are you honestly telling me that you believe that Russia nor Qatar didn’t try to win votes with money?

                  The Gaffer

                • Joe

                  December 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

                  It is the height of hypocrisy when people in the US and England cry about “oil-rich” countries beating them. As if the US hasn’t started two major middle eastern wars with thinly veiled excuses for oil. As if England didn’t have a stranglehold on Qatar and the Persian Gulf during their Empire. Sorry folks, you don’t get to cheat and scam your way into being world powers and then complain when others do the same decades/centuries later. It’s called karma.

                • Dave C

                  December 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

                  You can play that game all you like, but let’s face it – chanting monkey noises at black players is racist, whatever your definition of “racist” might be. If it was simply xenophobic, they’d chant monkey noises at white foreigners too, right?

                  And as for a lack of insitutionalized racism in Russia – that’s because you have a lack of racial minorities. Doh!

                • The Gaffer

                  December 10, 2010 at 10:40 am

                  Andrei, here’s another example of how racism in Russian soccer has worsened. This time according to Peter Odemwingie, the West Brom star who used to play at Lokomotiv Moscow:

                  The Gaffer

  28. DeeRexBox

    December 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm


    I was in South Africa for two of my country’s games, were you? By the way, “greengos” is actually spelled, GRINGOS. And I call it what it’s called in America because I live in America.
    And say what you want about American soccer, but they drew with England this last year and almost beat Ghana. It doesn’t have CLOSE to the history that other countries have with the sport, yet we continue to excel and improve in it. So thanks for your input kid.

  29. King Eric

    December 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm


    1. Earlier this year the temperature in Qatar hit a record 53C (127.4 F). In summer it hovers above 40C (104 F) much of the time.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair simply CAN’T take that kind of punishment.

    2. In some languages, “World Cup” translates loosely as “booze-fueled hoedown.”

    To be fair, you are able to buy alcohol at hotels and bars at a very high price, but who would risk it, with public intoxication punishable by jail time?

    3. Three words: Death Stalker Scorpions.

    4. Ranked 113th in the world in the latest FIFA rankings. The Qataris have never even been close to qualifying for the event and aren’t likely to without a host’s free entry pass. Will they be able to compete w/the world’s best?

    5. Qatar announced each of the stadiums would be air conditioned. I’m sorry, air conditioned? Have you ever tried to hail an air conditioner repairman in the peak of summer? As open air stadiums are required by FIFA, what about when the hot desert winds pick up and mix w/the cooling vents? Or what about the millions of people who aren’t actually in the air-conditioned stadiums, but are flooding the over-crowded streets w/the soles of their shoes melting to he asphalt?

    Think “dog in car.”

    Sep Blatter and the rest of the FIFA exec. committee are corrupt rotten bureaucrats that deserve no place in football. They are like any other major corporate execs.- twisted by corruption and the greed for more money. These were not footballing decisions, they were solely political and economical ones.

    After watching all of the bids, England’s was top class, if not the best for me. What other country is as qualified and prepared to host the world’s greatest sporting/football event? For them to only receive two votes and be out in the first round is a slap in the face and honestly an effing joke- a mockery! For Russia to finish ahead of other European football rich nations such as Holland (who have never hosted a World Cup either) and Spain/Portugal is beyond me. The FIFA committee’s pockets reek of those lined w/petrol-dollars.

    In Qatar’s bid presentation they asked/emphasized, “When will the Middle East be given a chance?” A viable response would have been how about after major countries like China and Australia, who are also part of Asia get a chance to host and after you modify such ridiculous laws such as deeming homosexuality illegal and join the rest of the modern world? Oh and I’m a straight Middle-Eastern/American by the way.

    • Dave C

      December 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      Ha, love the bit about C Ronaldo’s hair!

    • RedFella

      December 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      Well, to be fair, China and Australia have been sites for Olympics within the last 10 years, so they can claim at least that. But your other points on the culture clash in Qatar are really what’s going to be the story of this World Cup. A country that isn’t exactly known for embracing any kind of nightlife hosting the biggest party in the world? That could be fun or disastrous. Either way, it’s going to be fascinating.

      And who knows – maybe with this selection, the Middle East knows the world will be watching and coming, so it may rethink some of its more culturally detrimental rules like the homosexuality one you mentioned. In this world now, 12 years can be a long time.

      Death Stalker Scorpions is an excellent fantasy team name, by the way.

      • Has

        December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm

        Have you ever been to the middle east? Seriously? I’ve been to the US, China, Alot of European countries and the middle east has by far the best night life. Ok barring Las Vegas. People drink alcohol there all the time. You shouldn’t comment based on stereotypes!

  30. Dave B.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Russia I can kind of see. Emerging country when it comes to football, one of the darlings of Euro 2008 and a big powerful country you’d like to bring more into the international soccer community.

    Qatar? No reason to give them the World Cup other than boatloads of cash. Aside from everything else already mentioned, a spot in the World Cup will be wasted on the 113th ranked team in the world – bottom half.

  31. Coachie Ballgames

    December 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Where can the 2026 Cup go? It can’t go to Asia and it can’t go to Europe. South America will only have hosted 12 years earlier. Does it go to Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria)? Does it go to North America (Mexico, Canada?). Canada should step up, they have the infrastructure, the world-class cities a strong immigrant population and a growing support for football.

    • AtlantaPompey

      December 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      North America is the logical choice. It can’t go to Asia, which rules out Australia and China. It will have been in Europe recently. Not only will it have been in South America recently, but it will probably be in Uruguay in 2030 to commemorate the 100th anniversary, although that didn’t work for the Olympics because Greece wasn’t capable of hosting it. FIFA wants China to host it soon as well.

      • King Eric

        December 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm

        Logic would tell you U.S. 2026, England 2030, China/Australia 2034, but that’d be much to easy.

        • Simon Burke

          December 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

          Uruguay in a joint bid with Argentina is the expected destination for WC 2030 – 100 year centenary and Uruguay hosted the first.

          I suspect this leaves the US in a great position for 2026 but I wouldnt trust FIFA not to change the rules to encourage more bidders and more wining and dining of themselves.

  32. Soot

    December 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Quick question.

    Qatar is in Asia and the same confederation can not host 2 consecutive world cups, correct? So that makes China ineligible for 2026, right??

    • Dan

      December 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      You’d be correct.

    • RedFella

      December 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Right. For the 2026 bid, the US can claim that by that time, North America won’t have hosted the World Cup for 32 years, so that will be a good argument for them. It basically shapes up to be the US, some European countries (likely England, maybe Spain/Portugal again) and Australia, in my opinion.

      Short of any scandals breaking out or more information coming to light, Qatar got the bid because it focused on the future (high-tech stadiums, future population of the region, etc.) and played the “never had it here” card. According to a report on ESPN, the US’s bid was aimed at bean-counters, which, while logical, doesn’t project much passion or forward-thinking. Culturally and politically, Qatar was a bold, potentially tremendous choice. Logically … well, we’ll find out.

      England didn’t get it because it doesnt’ need it – at least in this decade. Here’s what England will be hosting over the next nine years, according to Sky Sports today: Champions League final in 2011, Summer Olympics in 2012, Rugby League World Cup in 2013, Rugby Union World Cup in 2015 and Cricket World Cup in 2019.

      • Matt

        December 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

        Isn’t Australia also part of the asian confederation? or am I making this up?

        • King Eric

          December 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm

          Correct, was going to say the same as it rules Australia and China both out of 2026. We could likely see a battle between England and the U.S. for 2026.

          • Andrei

            December 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

            Only if in 2026 England and the US will be in position to host it. They have to get past their financial woes first. The global balance of power is shifting and we see reflection of this in major sporting events. By 2026 we may have quite different world and different rules around hosting WC.

          • RedFella

            December 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

            You’re right, it is part of Asia. Sorry, I thought it was part of Oceania still.

          • Dave C

            December 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

            I don’t think England could try for 2026 either, because supposedly FIFA rules now are that a country cannot bid if its confederation has hosted either of the prior two WCs. So because Russia is hosting 2018, no other UEFA countries could host in 2022 (obviously) or 2026.

            So given that Asia and Europe will be ruled out of 2026, I think the US must be favourites for 2026 (unless FIFA decides to take the WC back to S America or Africa relatively soon after 2014 or 2010 respectively).

          • MennoDaddy

            December 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

            But what African country besides Egypt would be able to pull off a World Cup? I can’t think of any, and Egypt has its own problems. But then again, nobody thought Qatar had a chance either…

            No, I think it’s gotta be between USA and Australia for 2026. Assuming both of them bid again, that is. And considering FIFA’s recent history of Cup assignments, advantage Aussies.

  33. sossef

    December 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Live and let live people !! Russia is a great footballing nation with history. they absolutely deserve the world cup. All this talk about corruption is bullshit ! the whole world is corrupt !. The world cup is for the people and all football/soccer fans deserve it. who cares whether the government is corrupt ?!!

    Regarding 2022 I feel Australia is a better choice, but Qatar is not bad either. The people there are mad about the sport, they always invite the best teams in the world to play there. the people are generous and friendly. Plus, people from neighboring countries like UAE and such will show up. That region also has a large western community.

    And quite frankly I find some comments about other countries being barren waste land disgusting. That’s not what your government said when they were milking the place for over a century.

  34. Africanchild

    December 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    @Deerbox, gaz hunt and co
    The fact that you so called greengos use the word “soccer” and not football already shouldn’t allow you to host the world cup of FOOTBALL. Even though the real and unknown reason to us why Qatar has been chosen to be the 2022 world cup host, whether it has been through bribery or not, doesn’t redeem for the fact that you are so pro American that you would go out of your way to save the presidents unborn child. I’m glad Qatar has been chosen to host the world cup, at least the true supporters of their country who would fly from any qualified country wont have to fly another 7hours within the country to watch a game in case of qualification. Stick to lacrosse and go take a hike.

    • MennoDaddy

      December 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      Wow, arrogant much?

    • jbm

      December 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      I’m flattered you think the USA is so large it requires a 7 hour flight cross country (ok maybe from Main to southern California).

      But I do have to say you know nothing about USA sports…

      Nobody plays lacrosse.

      At least insult us and say american football or baseball or something.

    • AtlantaPompey

      December 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      First of all: It’s spelled ‘gringos’, not ‘greengos’. At least get the insult correct. The only group of people who really use that term are from Mexico. We call them ‘wetbacks’ in response. Google it.

      Second: ‘Soccer’ is an English term. It’s used interchangeably throughout the world, but especially in America and Australia, both of which have their own versions of football.

      What does being pro-American have to do with saving the President’s unborn child? I didn’t know Mrs. Obama was pregnant. Is she? Was that in Wiki-leaks and I missed it?

      Third, and most importantly: Thanks for the comic relief. I needed it.

      • Gaz Hunt

        December 2, 2010 at 10:12 pm

        I didn’t even use the term “soccer” at all in my comments.

        I’m an expatriate living in the States and still use the term “football”. However, you’ve just convinced me it’ll be much more fun to use the term “soccer” in order to facilitate silly comments such as yours.

        • Dave C

          December 3, 2010 at 9:29 am

          I think it’s crazy how some people use the slightest excuse to go on an off-topic rant about their favourite cliche debating point. In this case, it’s Africanchild trying to stir up the stupid old “football/soccer” language debate.

          Over on MLS Talk, they’ve used the same news story (Qatar’s surprise winning bid) to re-launch the stupid arguments about the lack of promotion/relegation in the MLS. As if this had anything to do with the bidding process!

  35. David

    December 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Russia was fine to me- it had some problems, though not major ones, and it hadn’t had a WC before. Qatar is mind-boggling, and I do think it was bought.

    And I agree with those that say you’ll see a lot of European/South American players who aren’t quite good enough for their individual national teams suddenly become Qatari citizens playing for their national team- Qatar will become the New York Yankees/Chelsea of national teams over the next 12 years, trying to buy the championship……

  36. AtlantaPompey

    December 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    South Africa has proven that, given enough money, the World Cup can be successfully hosted just about anywhere. Qatar has 12 years to build a larger airport, more hotels, air-conditioned stadia, etc. They also have more money than they know what to do with.

    Israeli athletes already compete there in tennis tournaments, so I don’t expect that to be an issue.

    Qatar will brand this as the Arab or Middle East World Cup. It will be marketed as bringing the Arab world into the 21st century. The demographics of the Arab world are young and getting younger, which will attract sponsors. Qatar hosts several international sporting events already. Tennis, Formula 1 come to mind. The spectators there get to drink alcohol in special zones, the women don’t have to wear burkhas, and they all seem to survive the oppressive heat. Look for the entire country to be labeled one of those special zones during the tournament.

    I was not surprised by either choice. Blatter has consistently shown he wants to bring the World Cup to places to spread the game. Outside of France and Germany, the tournament has been to non-footballing powerhouses in three of the last five tournaments. Taking it to Brazil, while THE world powerhouse, is an attempt to help Brazil with their infrastructure, something Brazil sorely lacks.

    I don’t think the Panorama expose had anything to do with England’s chances. The information in it was all 15 years old or older. It had already been settled in a court case. FIFA had put this way behind them. I’m certain they all laughed when they saw the program, thinking to themselves that Panorama did an excellent job of promoting themselves by allowing everyone to think that they were about to present something fresh and new.

    To sum up my feelings: I’m extremely disappointed that the US did not win. I really wanted to take my family to see competitive, world class football right here at home. While I believe that opportunity will come, it won’t come anytime soon. I’m also disappointed that England did not get 2018. I was already planning my trip. Oh well. Can’t see going to Russia or Qatar.

    • eplnfl

      December 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      AP, thanks on a day of emotion that you bring rational comment to the debate. All of what you say is true and I believe that the most overlooked point of all today is that both the US and England have had the World Cup once. If there is one legitimate factor that I can see here is that each of those countries who feel most cheated have had it before and new venues seem to be a preference.

      Can each country physically get the job done especially given the time they have and enough money? Sure. However, FIFA can not escape the appearance that it’s process is unfair or even worse corrupt and that the technical presentation of a candidate has very little to do with the ultimate outcome. Having the cash available to carry the day means more.

      It would be wise for countries that wish to host the games to get their leaders and big names home and let their gold do their talking.

    • patrick

      December 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm


      The Middle East may well be football crazy, but who cares. I don’t wanna be glib but they don’t have a history of any sort of World Cup success. Shouldn’t that be a factor? and just because a few other sporting events allowed themselves to be whored out doesn’t mean you put one of the top two world events to be staged there. The Asian games and whatever else they’d hosted are totally different. FIFA themselves called the venue a “High Risk” last week.

      as for your dismissive approach to expose of pure corruption by FIFA, that they where settled in court means you have not read anything about this nor seen the program. There is a pattern at FIFA. You get appointed and bilk it for whatever you can and no one will or can stop you.

      If anything what will happen in the coming months is the world media outlets will take notice and dig and expose… at least we can hope. otherwise world football is doomed.

      • Has

        December 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

        I am really disappointed by all this anti-Qatar sentiment. Its an eye-opener into the type of people that frequent this website and the people who run the website too.

        “The Middle East may well be football crazy, but who cares. I don’t wanna be glib but they don’t have a history of any sort of World Cup success.”

        Well to be frank, the US and Australia have not had much success in the tournament either. Australia were awful and the US have never won a tournament, nor have they been very successful in the World Cup. Also the US held the tournament in 1994, which is like a week in world cup terms.

        Lastly, most of the US still dont care about soccer. The same goes for Australia. Passion and understanding for the sport should mean something too.

        Lastly to say that a country is too hot to host the world cup is limiting the world cup to certain nations. AND if the cup was held in Australia, the games would be taking place while most of europe are asleep.

        • Dave

          December 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

          “I am really disappointed by all this anti-Qatar sentiment. Its an eye-opener into the type of people that frequent this website and the people who run the website too.”

          To feel this way is totally understandable. But to then make more than bold (and clearly wrong) statements that “the US and Australia have not had much success in the tournament either. Australia were awful and the US have never won a tournament, nor have they been very successful in the World Cup” as well as “most of the US still dont care about soccer. The same goes for Australia. Passion and understanding for the sport should mean something too.” Is a complete turnaround on the very principal’s that you’re criticizing.

          There are more people in the city of New York who support soccer in some capacity than there are people in Qatar at the moment. Both countries have had massive spikes in attendance and interest in the sports both domestically and when their nations play internationally. Not too mention that in the US, soccer is consumed more than in any other country due to great expansions in TV, internet and radio capabilities. These are all things that I am willing to be Qatar have never even come close to competing with. Yet you say that it should go to someone with “Passion and understanding for the sport”.

          My anger with FIFA is not necessarily their choice in venues for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup’s. It’s the way that they went about choosing them. If you want the World Cup to be in new and growing areas for the sport, then just say that and don’t waste everyone’s time (England, Spain, US, Korea and Japan). But explain to me how Qatar runs away with the votes in the 2022 World Cup and Australia, who’s never hosted and is a very viable candidate in so many ways is eliminated in the first round?

          If you don’t smell a rat, then you are drinking out of the same cooler as those at FIFA.

          • Has

            December 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

            My comment was not meant to be negative about either country. I did not say things like who cares about the Middle East. I was very upset with the insinuation that the passion and love of the support does not mean anything. Also you really shouldn’t rely on statistics as a point of looking at consumption and enjoyment for football. The only negative comment I made about the countries was about the football. Not against the people and the country. Can you see the difference?

            AND I was surprised about the decision as well. I came on here because usually they have reasonable responses and interesting points of views. I left reading the comments feeling very upset and sick.

  37. Simon Burke

    December 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    4.5 hours later and I am still worked up and full of spite towards FIFA.
    Russia is fair enough – a good football history and a first timer. Good luck to them. Normally I wouldn’t begrudge it… but in the light of the following stuff I can’t believe they won fairly:

    Qatar. This is a disgrace on all levels. I never backed the US bid – no offence Americans but Australia is a lot like you were in 94. In need of a World Cup to really take off and they have never had it before. To me, Australia were the obvious candidates and its outrageous that they received 1 vote from 22.. Outrageous. I’d have had America as the second best option. Qatar nowhere. They’ve never qualified. They’re full of naturalised players. Size of a postage stamp. 110 degrees in June. Awful awful decision. FIFA’s own technical report viewed Qatar as a health risk. Fans outside whatever supposed a/c solutions they have will melt to death.

    Next: FIFA – amongst corruption and bribery allegations they have dared pick the 2 shadiest countries with all the billions. Neither have a free press to investigate them either. Massive balls.

    Its an absolute disgrace and its so bad i am having to agree with a lot of what Stan Collymore is talking about on Talksport (this is a first). Terrible terrible day for football. I want England to withdraw from FIFA, its not knee jerk. FIFA needs to be taken down several pegs. Whining isn’t enough.

    Sepp today reminded the EXCo committee of recent press allegation from ‘certain’ countries. Articles discussing the Panorama programme (poorly timed programme admittedly) were left for ExCo members today before the vote. No way England get 2/22 votes after the incredible bid we had. Clearly non-bid matters were a big big factor.

    I could go on and on , I am that angry about it all.

    • King Eric

      December 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      I feel your pain and think that major countries such as England along w/others should boycott playing international friendlies and remove themselves- sadly it’s the only way. This calls for a revolution in the way football is ran on the international stage. Where are the checks/balances?

  38. Civrock

    December 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Hosting nations should at least be able to compete in the World Cup. It’s not like Qatar would’ve qualified any other way and the tournament’s credibility is going to take a pretty big hit when it becomes obvious in 2022.

    What’s Qatar gonna do? Pay off 11-17 players from Europe to become Qataric citizens before 2022? …AH HAH!

    • Kal

      December 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      “What’s Qatar gonna do? Pay off 11-17 players from Europe to become Qataric citizens before 2022? …AH HAH!”

      Promising young African players and also promising youngsters from the region…not European players. Brazilians probably…they are everywhere.

    • Has

      December 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Okay firstly just because they dont have a gret team now doesn’t mean they have to buy other countries players. To suggest things like that is degrading a country. Honduras showed themselves well in the last world cup and they were a team of part-time players. It’s arrogant to suggest that no good players can come from the middle east. They have 12 years to develop there footballing talent.

  39. Chris

    December 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Qatar – What the hell? Take some time to read about this country and you will be even more pissed off. How much oil money went into FIFA’s pockets?

  40. dominjon

    December 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    How many time zones will the Russia WC be held over? Should make for some strange game times in the US. And what is the time difference between Qatar and the US?

    • Footie Phantom

      December 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      The time difference is currently about 8 hours for those on the east coast

  41. Kal

    December 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Interested in seeing how 2022 will turn out. I guess only time will tell whether all the facilities will be built and the infrastructure in place in 12 yrs time.
    Now since Qatar is in the WC…will the Asian teams have one less qualifying spot?

    • yo

      December 3, 2010 at 12:11 am

      The real question is what’s the over/under on how many goals the Qatari National Team will give up in it’s 3 group matches?

      I set the number at 19.

  42. DeeRexBox

    December 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm


    QATAR HAS NEVER QUALIFIED FOR A WORLD CUP. Why would they deserve it? Why doesn’t Antarctica get a bid for it? This is a slap in the face, not JUST to England and the USA, but to international soccer fans around the world that have supported FIFA and their teams. It’s apparent that money really does run everything and oil money has lined the pockets of some of FIFA’s executives. It also makes us wonder about some of the officiating in the World Cup. I mean, since we’re on conspiracy theories and all…

    This is a good read. And this is in 12 years, so I’m not broken about it. But if it were given to someone other than the USA or Qatar, I would have been much more in support of it. Money runs the world. Sepp knows it.

    • King Eric

      December 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      I agree, this is icing on the cake and simply proves how corrupt the world’s beautiful game is and has become. Wherever there’s so much money and profit to be made, you’ll find snakes hissing in your ear. All of this really makes me think of how much match fixing probably takes place w/out our knowledge, right under our noses all the time. Look at how bad the past few World Cup’s officiating has been and how resistant they have been to including/implementing technology, for instance. They’ve been able to cheat the entire world for years because they have no one to answer to.

  43. Civrock

    December 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Existing infrastructure should be a requirement for all nations that want to enter World Cup bids. I can look past the basically non-existant national team or national league but… wait, what?! NEVERMIND.

    Russia I can accept, Qatar is a disgrace to the beautiful game.

  44. Get a life

    December 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    If I don’t win, then you are corrupted.

    If you don’t behave westernly, then you are retarded.

    If you are not attached to the US or England, then you do not make sense.

    Thank you Gaffer!

    • Matthew Reed

      December 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      LOL, corruption for the selection of international events is as common as…well…trolling on internet comment pages.

  45. Andrei

    December 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    “In some ways, I’m not surprised by FIFA’s decisions. FIFA has often failed to exercise common sense whether it’s regarding its refusal to utilize technology to make the game fairer, or whether it’s FIFA’s decision to have committee members vote on the 2018 and 2022 tournaments at the same time, which increased the likelihood of collusion.”

    Gaffer, what is it your have in mind referring to “common sense” in selection process? That the likes of England or USA have born right to host majority of World Cup tournaments?

    “Regarding the 2022 tournament, the US World Cup bid organizers may not have been too pleased with The Guardian newspaper who was complicit in support of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid when it wrote a piece of puffery after the reporter was sent on an expense-paid trip to Doha, paid for by the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Committee.”

    Perhaps, the US should go now further than looking in the mirror and remember Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the bribery scandal.

    • Gaz Hunt

      December 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      Nobody is saying England or the US have a “born right”. England and the US have only hosted once each (1966 and 1994). Doesn’t seem like a born right to me.

      This all goes down to, yes, common sense.

      Russia is a bad decision but I can see the reasoning somewhat.

      Qatar shows a lack of common sense.

      Even if you take the side of bringing new people into the game, Qatar won’t accomplish that as much as the USA or Australia would. Even if every single person and company in this tiny country buys on, they would have a bigger “new” market in just one or two cities in the US or Australia. Plus, it would be cheaper to set up (and thus not tap into your profit margin) and a better environment to play football in.

      That’s common sense.

      • Simon Burke

        December 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

        Absolutely Gaz. Qatar have NO right to host a World Cup. If they have never qualified for one they dont deserve to buy one.

        This ticks every red flag for me. Dreadful decision. Health, history, size, transport.
        Imagine Qatar being seeded in group A.

        It defies belief. For Russia to get it on the same day tarnishes Russia.

        • Earl Reed

          December 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm

          That’s OK, if they can buy hosting the Cup, they can probably pay off the top players to join their team.

          • Lamby

            December 4, 2010 at 2:29 am

            You have not seen their team then. It is full of Brazilian’s!

      • Andrei

        December 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

        Well all I see is that you disagree with the (alleged) reasoning behind the Quatar decision but don’t call it lack of common sense. So called common sense is essentially a groupthink. It reflects experiences and beliefs of a specific group of people. Don’t you think that in the Middle East they may have a different idea around what constitutes common sense in the selection process?

        Also, bribery innuendos do not help either. I’m not saying it is not true but the US is not in position to go high nosed about it.

        • Gaz Hunt

          December 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm

          I believe even the most staunch Qatari loyalist will admit that the common thoughts and beliefs about a good World Cup host did not match with their bid.

          Again, they have no infrastructure in place, a small market of people and businesses to “convert”, inability to accommodate the people flooding there, a climate that, without heavy use of environment-killing machinery, will be hell for fans and players, etc.

          Just for good measure let’s throw a little history of oppression (especially to women) in there.

          But they have lots of money to throw it.

          Andrei, I can see your point here but you’re not a Middle Eastern person and thus able to look at this without those blinders. Surely you can see people’s point?

          • Andrei

            December 3, 2010 at 12:07 am

            My point is that common sense has never had anything to do with WC host selection. The rules hasn’t changed changed that much – FIFA always went with the bidder that had more to offer to them at the moment. The only difference is that in the past the likes of England had more leverage with FIFA and therefore the WC hosting was limited to the select few. Now the balance of power is shifting and new players are emerging and England and the US do not enjoy as much influence as they used to have. Nor they have any financial advantage over the likes of Russia or Quatar. Take the US bid – does it make much “common sense” to borrow even more from China to finance hosting of WC 2022? Like it or not you’d better get used to this new “norm”.

  46. Gaz Hunt

    December 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Definitely upset about England not getting picked, however, you can at least see some reasoning behind it.

    Awarding Qatar instead of the US just doesn’t make any sense at all.

    They are a tiny, tiny country that will not be able to cope with the amount of people flooding to their small towns. They have one airport and little to no public transportation. Seriously!

    In addition, it is scary hot to play football in. Over 100 F from about April to October.

    And just to top it off, won’t beer consumption be banned given the region?

    This is going to be a fiasco starting with their inability to build all the promised stadiums. Then they’ll go way over budget and be unable to deliver on the cooled stadiums.

    A disaster waiting to happen.

  47. Feehily

    December 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Worst decision they could have made to honest! I actually understand Russia as it does have a strong International team as well as a fairly popular league game. Sad that England were shown up so badly in the voting, as system which is so overly complex and easily corruptible that it’s an embarrassment! Common sense would put England in the forefront for any World Cup, but like you say Fifa is not known for it’s use of common sense, or any sense for that matter.
    Which bring us to Qatar, seriously… QATAR!? Who they hell wants to go there and play football? It’s so obvious money was a motivator here. You really want us to believe that someone sat down and though “Oh yes, that barren sandy wasteland would be the perfect place for a kick about in the middle of Summer!” I’m all for spreading the joy of football around the world but awareness of the game is not promoted by hosting the cup, it’s through their countries success in the tournament! The last World Cup was not hosted in the US but viewing figure were through the roof, breaking all kinds of records! That was thanks to the USA teams actions of the field and ESPN’s fantastic coverage…

    I would have loved to have seen the World Cup come here to America, to show the world how far the country has come in support of the sport. Also I would have loved to have been able to see an Ireland game live before I die!

    So now who actually cares about the world cup? After such a shocking decision who is going to want to actually go there? If the US qualify, as a fan will you travel to Qatar? Russia? The time difference is 9 and 11 hours respectively… If you thought watching SA2010 was rough, just wait!

  48. MennoDaddy

    December 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Absolutely shambolic decision-making by FIFA, especially with regards to the 2022 World Cup.

    You could make a strong argument for Russia in 2018, even without the English press reporting on the FIFA ExCom bribery scandal, so I’m not all surprised that they won. I’m shocked, however, that England was eliminated in the FIRST ROUND OF VOTING. Something else is going on over there, y’all.

    But I’m absolutely FLOORED by the Qatar decision. There’s no good reason aside from bribery and collusion that Qatar, with a population smaller than Philadelphia, should be awarded 2022 over USA and Australia.

    FIFA wants to send the World Cup to a place it’s never been before? Australia hosted a fantastic Olympic games, has qualified for the past two (or three?) World Cups, and has a decent national football league and infrastructure already in place. FIFA, however, shockingly missed a golden opportunity to cash in on the biggest world-wide marketplace in a country with already well-established sporting infrastructure, and help finally cement soccer as a major American sport. And they f*#$ed it up.

  49. Erin

    December 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    This. All of this. So disappointing as I too have ties to both England and the US. England out with reportedly only two votes in the first round was just sad. US put up a better showing with the final voting round going 14-8 in Qatar’s favor, but honestly, it seems like Qatar simply bought themselves a WC.

    • Matthew Reed

      December 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      even more puzzling to me about Qatar and the notion that this is to expand the fifa base in the country. The plan is to build the 15 stadiums and then after the competition, bring the stadiums down and donate them to poor countries.

      So, FIFA is going to Qatar to expand the game to the country but the country will not have any more stadiums after the competition than they do today.

      Clearly, this can’t be about extending FIFA’s global reach.

      • King Eric

        December 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

        And how will these beneficial poor countries operate such technological state of the art stadiums? Surely the operating costs will out-weigh their revenue, no?

        • DGS

          December 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm

          The stadium aspect is what bugs me. They’re clearly aiming high with the proposed designs. How do you build those and then deconstruct them? Are the made of LEGOs?

          …and where exactly are they going? Bribes don’t have to be as blatant as sticking a wad of bills is someone’s pocket. Offering to build stadiums, playing fields, etc. in poorer countries in exchange for votes smacks of the same.

      • MennoDaddy

        December 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

        Imagine the shipping costs!

  50. jbm

    December 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    It’s quite evident that they want to expand into the Russian/Asian market, hence the choices. Japan nor South Korea would have given them that push for Asia (especially with Japan’s poor World Cup years ago). Roman Abramovich’s face after the announcement and during the praise of Russia said it all.

    In the face of record turn out and profits for a World Cup if they took it to the USA, they went to a country with 100+ F summers, little alcohol sales, has as many people as San Francisco, and is smaller than the state of Connecticut.

    Tom & George losing LFC wasn’t an epic swindle; USA losing the bid to Qatar is an epic swindle. Australia losing the bid to Qatar is an epic swindle.

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