Thursday, December 02, 2010

Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022

Today the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were selected. It was widely expected that the winner of the 2018 bid would be in Europe, where England, Spain/Portugal and Russia were contesting. Following FIFA president Sepp Blatter's wish to spread the beautiful game further in new countries and regions (which admittedly gave us an excellent cup in South Africa), the choice of Russia for 2018 was not strange, and it will surely be interesting to see the World Cup there, amid strong anti-foreign feelings there.
I really do wonder whether Russia is able or even willing to welcome the world to one of the greatest events that exist.
Qatar will be even more interesting. The small Middle Eastern nation has never participated in a world cup, but invested enormous resources in their bid, and will surely have to invest even more in stadiums and infrastructure for their hosting in 12 years, but even more in actually having a competitive team! In any case, situated between Europe, Africa and Asia, good links and climate, it is surely to be one of the most memorable world cups of the 21st century, and surely already augur a new era in the spread of football around the world.

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