England to Host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, an Unofficial Announcement


We already know, 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil. But who will host the 2018 World Cup?

Here is the list of bidders: (click a bidder to go to his official bid website)

Belgium and Netherlands
England
Russia
Portugal & Spain
United States

The FIFA committee will meet in December and vote for the World Cup hosts for both 2018 and 2022 hosts.

All the bidders for 2018 World Cup are also bidding for 2022 World Cup. Below illustration shows countries bidding for both 2018 and 2022 (countries flags in the joint region of the two circles), and for countries bidding only for 2022 World Cup.

FIFA WORLD CUPS BIDS

Illustration of bids for FIFA World Cup 2018/2022

In this post I will not be talking about other 2022 bidding countries, as the point here is, who I think will host the 2018 World Cup.

To make a clearer analysis I have put  a lists of pros and cons for every bid.

Belgium and Netherlands:

Pros:

– No World Cup ever took place in any of these two countries

– Very good infrastructure especially in Holland

– Belgium and the Netherlands successfully hosted Euro 2000

– Excellent political and social conditions in both countries

Cons:

– There is no currently a stadium with capacity of 80,000. But there is a plan to build a new one with the required capacity if they become the host. Also a  lot of work need to be done in term of upgrading existing stadiums.

– One year back, Blatter said:

“As long as we have single-country bids which provide all the necessary guarantees we will reject co-hosting bids”.

This was mostly because of financial and logistic  issues that were raised during Japan- Korea World Cup, but now FIFA seems to have changed its mind giving more chance for this to happen as long as Local Organizing Committee is created, and this is the case with this bid. But I still think, this will reduce their chance to win the bid

England

Pros:

– Favored because of the football culture there. Football is extremely popular in England, and they are the home of football, as Blatter put it:

“I would say yes, they should bid – it is the homeland of football”

– Last time the World Cup took place in England was in 1966! More than enough time for the world cup to come back again.

– They learned from their campaign mistakes when they bid for 2006 World Cup and lost it. The campaign now has a less arrogant tone

– A lot of efforts is being put in their campaign, and a committee of influential and experienced people was created. Here are a few names:

Lord Triesman, Ex: chairman of The FA

Geoffrey Thompson, vice president of FIFA

Sebastian Coe, who led London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic

The campaign also has the support of respected and famous figures like Prince Williams and Beckham.

– Stadiums are available and not much upgrades need to be done.

– After inspection visit, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Head of the six-person FIFA inspection committee, said:

“All needs and objectives of our visit were met. We have seen a full commitment of the government as well as from all candidate host cities” .

Cons:

Lord Triesman case where his voice was recorded, when having (what he thought) a private conversation with a friend, suggesting Spain could drop its 2018 bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer’s World Cup. Triesman has resigned from his position as chairman of the FA and the England 2018 Bid board.

– England is hosting Olympic Games on 2012 and some may not wish to give the two biggest sport events to the same country

The handbags gifts case where the English bidding team has given a luxury handbag for each wife/partner of the 24 FIFA voters. Fifa might not like this, it does not even sound right for the public. One of the voters has returned the handbag.

Russia

Pro:

Never hosted the world cup before, and when we look at its successful history of football, FIFA might think, it is time for the world cup to be hosted in Russia.

Cons:

–          Stadiums need an extreme amount of work and infrastructure is not well developed, big distance between cities, and smaller towns that are supposed to host games don’t  have enough accommodation.

–          Corruption is not very uncommon in Russia, even on the football level as Russian international player Alexander Bubnov warned “With the level of corruption eating into our football, it is unrealistic to be able to host a World Cup”

–          A lot of work need to be done to be ready, even Russian PM told his cabinet: “We have a range of problems over the guarantee we have given FIFA. It concerns security, taxes, customs and the timely construction of stadiums.”

–          After the inspection visit, Mayne-Nicholls said:

“We feel that after our four days in Russia we have all the information needed to submit a fair report,”

England received a much better statement, this one clearly lacks any kind of excitement.

Portugal & Spain

Pro:

–         Experience in hosting major sports events

–         Available big capacity stadiums and good transportation between different cities

Cons:

–         Portugal hosted Euro 2004, which is relatively recent

–         Same reason of double countries bids.

United States

Pro:

–         Excellent Stadiums availability and capacity. They have seven stadiums that have more than 80,000 seats.

Cons:

–         Lack of passion, as football (soccer) is not a very popular game in the states.

–         They are the bidding country to have most recently hosted the worldcup (1994) and they also hosted FIFA Women World Cup in both 1999 and 2003, so if USA is to host the world cup then FIFA will probably prefer USA bid for 2022, to give longer time range between both world cup events with the same host.

FIFA will always prefer the world cup to be hosted in  one country, Russia is not ready and does not have the best political and infrastructure condition, 2018 is still early for USA to re-host. England will definitely host the 2018 World Cup, and I don’t think we need to wait until the official announcement on the second of December.

So here I am announcing it:

England will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

PS: Uruguay will host the World Cup in 2030. Also you don’t need ten years to wait for the official announcement. I already know it.

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