Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Who Will Host World Cup 2018? 2022?

The most important question that I did not take into account was which country will give us the best female footie fans. The answer to that would have to be Spain/Portugal with the Netherlands/Belgium a close second followed by Russia.

Thirteen whole countries decided it was worth their time to submit a letter to FIFA by February 2 expressing interest in hosting the world’s biggest sporting event in either 2018 or 2022. (Belgium and The Netherlands, however, submitted a joint letter of interest. I bet the Belgians made the Dutch write the letter, in 5 languages.)

I can’t imagine the trouble these countries went through to draft the letter.
Dear Herr Blatter,

We are interested in hosting the 2018 and/or 2022 World Cup.


The US of A.
Without further ado, the complete list of countries submitting letters of interest—Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands, England, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Spain and Portugal, and the United States.

Now let’s handicap these potential suitors to the Golden Orb. Since it’s early on, I’m just going to put them into tiers.

Tier 1:

England – The motherland for soccer has to be high on the list for everybody. It would certainly be well attended and much of the infrastructure is already in place to support the event and given the current economic situation, it may be difficult to come up with funds for large infrastructure improvements for other countries. Downside: It’s really expensive in England and people sometimes don’t like fait accompli.

USA – 1994 was a huge success and I think the soccer world still wants to try and develop the soccer market in this country. Plus, the infrastructure is there to have a hugely games at every venue. In 1994, this country was just getting to know soccer. With the advent of the internet and the concomitant increased exposure of soccer in the US, the event will be even bigger. Downside: Hosted the event in 1994. Not a huge soccer country. And, it is America. We are not well liked even with President Obama.

Mexico – North America will likely get one of these bids since, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America have all hosted since 1994. Also, CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner wants to bring the World Cup back to North America and will likely play the USA against Mexico to his advantage (read: line his pockets). Mexico is a soccer mad country and hosted in 1986 so it has at least an aging infrastructure for the event, and is currently building 13 stadiums. Downside: It would be really freaking hot down there.

Tier 2:

Australia – FIFA is always trying to increase it’s footprint and Asia is one of the main places it has been focusing its efforts. Now, Australia isn’t technically Asia, but it’s geographically close. It’s also the one inhabited continent that has never hosted a World Cup. Everybody loves Australia and wants to visit. Downside: It’s a long ways away from everything and it would be the third consecutive WC in the Southern hemisphere.

Belgium and Netherlands – Who doesn’t want to go to the Netherlands (or Belgium, I hear it’s nice)? The upside to this bid is that it is in Europe and easily accessible to millions, strong soccer infrastructure, and it’s not one of the big European countries. Downside: Not big European countries and may not have the political pull.

Spain and Portugal – Another European destination with infrastructure and warm climes. Given Spain’s recent soccer success, some may be inclined to bump them up to Tier 1. I thought about it, but I just see this as a three-horse race for the two spots. They could play the spoiler but I don’t see it happening. Downside: Cristiano Ronaldo is from Portugal.

Russia – This is a tough one to place. The corruption in Russia is rampant and seeing how it is going in South Africa, I can’t see FIFA wanting to battle that again. Plus, the economic crisis has severely affected Russia’s wealth at the moment, so getting stuff built might be an issue with corruption and financial problems. On the other hand, FIFA may see this as an opportunity to extract reforms out of Russia. Downside: I have no idea how the Russian soccer infrastructure is currently situated. I don’t know how traveling in Russia would go, it is a very big place. Corruption. Could very well move them to Tier 3.

Tier 3:

Japan – Just co-hosted in 2002. Not a big enough country to host again so soon.

South Korea – Ditto.

Qatar – One of my cohorts thinks Qatar should be higher because they have dumptrucks full of cash to line the pockets of FIFA executives. That cash would also come in handy when building state-of-the-art stadiums. Downsides: While Qatar is safer country than some of the other Middle Eastern countries right now in regards to Islamic extremists, it is still located in the heartland of that activity. I say that is a con. Moreover, it’s a Muslim country so booze and hookers would be seriously limited. Finally, it’s hot as balls there all the time. Do you remember how much trouble the teams seemed to have in the 2006 World Cup when it got “hot”? It was Germany!!! Not as hot as Qatar.

Tier 4:

Indonesia – No way in hell. I’m sure they have no infrastructure. Plus, they have some issues with Islamic extremists. I don’t think that would sit well with some of the FIFA power players.


The Fan's Attic said...

Now that we are done with our Keystone Cops editing behind the scenes, I hope the post is readable.

Mike Georger said...

I think the USA is taking both the 2016 Summer Olympics AND the World Cup, I just have a good feeling.

New Meadowlands will be open by then and there is your final venue. Can have the semis in the Cowboys new stadium.

England aint getting dick.

Adam said...

We were having a disucssion in DUAN last week about where they'd play games, our list of 12 looked like this:


Fringe cities:
St. Louis
Denver(my homer pick)
somewhere in Ohio

Mike Georger said...

Huge college stadiums would be sweet. Beaver Stadium etc.

Andrew said...

I like the idea of playing the games at college stadiums. Watching England lose in penalties at the Swamp would be phenomenal.

Precious Roy said...

Oh god, if I could watch Italy and Spain go at it at DKR Memorial in Austin I would lose it.

Only problem is that it's about 102 in the afternoon in July/August and Europe would need afternoon kicks.

Precious Roy said...

Oh god, if I could watch Italy and Spain go at it at DKR Memorial in Austin I would lose it.

Only problem is that it's about 102 in the afternoon in July/August and Europe would need afternoon kicks.

Precious Roy said...

Hey, a comment so nice, I posted it twice.

Stupid Internet.

phil said...

No thanks on the 2016 Olympics, Georger. Daley has already spent half a billion dollars of city money on the damn bid, resulting in a nearly bankrupt public transportation system, a failing public education system, and the inability to pay for overtime for truck drivers and an adequate amount of salt to ensure streets were plowed in a timely and safe manner. So, I say, fuck the Olympics. Daley is faxing Chicago to hell in a handbasket for the damn thing. So fuck him, and fuck the Olympics, but I won't trade humanity for patriotism.

Joep Smeets said...

Here's a con for the netherlands for you: the minimum for a WC stadium is 40K seats and there have to be two 60k+. I'd invite you all to look up the list of dutch and belgian stadiums who qualify, or I could just post it here and be done with it.

de Kuip in Rotterdam, with 45 and the Arena in Amsterdam with 54.

That's it.

there are plans for an 80000 stadium in Rotterdam for a club (Feyenoord) that is making such a fall from grace it was hilarious before it became just sad, then slightly hilarious again. There are expansion plans for a lot of stadiums to scrape slightly above or beneath the 40 mark, but god knows why as all but a few have problems filling their current capacity

on the plus side, I hear Holland has an extremely good production company that broadcasts football, employing one particularly bright young lad as a LSM-operator...

The Fan's Attic said...

isn't the world cup about building new stadiums? hop to it. how many does Belgium have?

i assume the LSM-operator's name is Joep Smeets. now, what is an LSM operator?

Mike Georger said...

I sincerely hope it's lesbian sadomasochism.

Belgium/Netherlands would be pretty sweet

To be fair Phil, someone in Chicago complaining about mayoral corruption is like someone going to hell and bitching about it being hot.
Frankly I think we are a lock for the Olympics.

phil said...

Life is no argument, Georger.

Joep Smeets said...

yes the world cup is about building new stadiums but the dutch league, save for a very few clubs, doesnt have a need for them. theyre not sold out week in week out so why build a bigger one?

Also, LSM means Live slowmotion. Im responsible for making replays and sometimes editing clips that can be analyzed during HT and after FT