The Chain Of 2018-2022-2026 World Cup Hosting Bids

It’s fairly absurd that the World Cup a full generation away from us in 2026 is critical for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting bids, but there’s a chain reaction if China signals even a little more firmly that it will bid for the 2026 World Cup before FIFA’s 24-man Executive Committee makes its determinations on 2018 and 2022 in December. With China looking like a shoo-in for 2026 if it bids, that decision would essentially guarantee the United States would win the race for the 2022 World Cup.

This is because FIFA will not allow one confederation to host two consecutive World Cups, and China would be a shoo-in for 2026; with a European nation 99% certain to get the 2018 World Cup, that means 2022 will go to one of five bidders: Australia, South Korea, Japan, Qatar or the United States. And only the latter is not in the Asian Football Confederation alongside China, following Australia’s move on the pitch to Asia a few years ago.

Meanwhile, Simon Kuper’s dismissal of Qatar’s bid in the Financial Times this week prompted a swift response. Kuper wrote that “Qatar is spending oil money on lobbying. But few foreigners want a World Cup played in the desert, in indoor stadiums in 40-degree heat. Choosing Qatar would look a choice for money. That would make Fifa look tacky.”

That prompted Qatar 2022 chief executive Hassan Al Thawadi to respond in a letter published in the FT:

“First, the Qatar 2022 bid committee, in co-operation with a talented team of local and international science, technology and environmental experts, has developed the capability to cool outdoor stadiums, training grounds, FIFA fan fests/fan zones and walkways from metro stations to venues.

“Players and fans will enjoy temperatures not exceeding 27°C, and all of this will be accomplished using carbon-neutral technology. These cooled outdoor stadiums will be in a concentrated area, allowing fans to see more than one match per day.

“Second, Qatar is a vibrant and dynamic economy, set to grow by up to 20 per cent this year according to some estimates. While petroleum and gas resources are a key part of our growth, they are by no means the only source of revenue.

“Thousands of foreign and domestic companies providing a variety of non-energy related goods and services are based here.

“Furthermore, Qatar’s bid is playing firmly within FIFA’s rules, which include full disclosure of fund disbursement and written notification prior to talking with any FIFA’s executive committee member.”

Kuper is probably right; Qatar’s bid would have been stronger as part of a regional bid, as Todd Reisz points out. Right now, the favourites are the global heavyweights: Russia for 2018, United States for 2022 and China for 2026, quite the superpower line-up.

12 thoughts on “The Chain Of 2018-2022-2026 World Cup Hosting Bids

  1. njndirish

    Qatar, we know you can build it, but my first question is will your money still be there when it comes time to build it?
    After South Africa’s near disaster, and Brazil’s potential for a disaster with the lack of Stadia and infrastructure, FIFA should force the bidders to have the stadiums at least under-construction. Qatar doesn’t even have half their stadiums built, and its 6 stadiums to begin with. The grass will be destroyed by the Round of 16 with an average of 8 matches occurring over 14 day on each pitch. Then add to the fact that only one stadium is above 50K.

    Also it is illegal to hold alcohol in public and be drunk in Qatar. Sure they’ll setup nice zones to purchase alcohol in, but I assume you’ll be drinking it in there and not in your seat.

  2. Alex Usher

    Having observed Qatari football ticketing and security practices first-hand, I can tell you these guys aren’t ready for prime time. Trying to get into an Asian CL game was a total madhouse.

  3. Jan

    Why do these sporting events now have to rival the Olympic games? Yes, I know they are fun to attend and they are great for the bookies and they are great for local businesses and a terrific environment in which to show the best available from every country…but what happens when the crowds go home?

    Unless all these stadiums and infrastructure can be re-usable, tax payers are often left with a big debt to pay off. Sometimes, I think the sporting bodies have lost perspective.

  4. Guitarearl

    They can cool the stadium, but they can’t cool the rest of the place for the other 22 hours in the day.

  5. FootballMS

    I think it would be great to see the World Cup go to China as Asia deserves another chance to host, they did a great job in South Korea and Japan and have many fanatical fans

  6. TopSportingPicks

    Is it wrong for Quatar to host the WC just because it is very hot and alcohol is banned from public place? It is a WORLD cup and so should encompass all condtions

  7. Social Steve

    If i had to pick on e of these 5 : Australia, South Korea, Japan, Qatar or the United States, I would go with Japan. Could really help bring more soccor awareness to Asia in general.

  8. Jay F

    There will be a desert World Cup at one point but I doubt it’ll be in one of the Asian Middle East countries. My bet is Egypt, and, to a lesser extent Morocco (mainly because Morocco is considered Mediterranean). If you follow this progression, with Russia, US, and China getting the next three as of yet un-awarded World Cups, then Europe will end up with 2030 (I can’t see three in a row outside of Europe), and my bet would be the 2034 or 2038 versions would be in one of those countries, with the other going to South America.

    How’s -that- for getting ahead of ourselves? :-P

  9. Alex

    Seems astonishing to me that Qatar is being talked about as a serious contender. It has a population of 1.6 million, it’s simply not big enough to host an event of this size. The Olympics…maybe, but the World Cup. No. It exposes FIFA’s greed for petrodollars that they’re even being considered.