On Thursday, 22 secret ballots in Zurich chose Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) to host the World Cup Games. With a sense of being heir apparent, America and England were extremely disappointed as they showed all the reasons they were the best venues.
England has been the home of the worlds most popular and financially successful soccer league for years. America boasts the largest pool of soccer players, tons of stadiums and the world’s most diverse pool of fans. Yet England only received two votes form the delegates - and one from their own representative.
Russia and Qatar cannot boast of free press or fair elections, but they do have reputations of recent strong economic development and of a no nonsense response to dissents. Officials need not worry of strikers or the like interrupting preparations for the games.
Russia’s 2018 World Cup will take place all over the enormous country covering an expanse of 1500 miles, while Qatar’s entire country does not occupy that much space. Qatar will be the smallest country to ever host the games.
Both countries have strong energy sectors that will pour strong support into the sport. Huge commitments of sponsorship from the Energy companies in these two countries will go a long way in covering expenses. Qatar’s treasuries is very strong and do not reflect the debt loads of either the US or England.
Ultimately the decision shows a trend toward emerging countries as FIFA decides where to host its flagship tournament.