Thursday, 2 December 2010


Russia and Qatar will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments following the voting rounds today in Zurich, which left nine other bidders - England, Holland/Belgium, Spain/Portugal (2018) and Australia, Japan, South Korea and the USA (2022) - desolate at missing out.

By voting two new hosts for its showpiece event FIFA appear to be continuing with a policy of seeking to expand the frontiers of the global game.

It was not a surprise to see Russia land the 2018 tournament as they have been the favourites throughout the majority of the bidding campaign, but Qatar beating the USA in the final round of voting for 2026 is a result that few were expecting.

England endured a dismal World Cup in South Africa earlier this year, and their elimination in the first round of voting today rounds off a year to forget for the Three Lions. They secured only two of the 22 votes today; a real kick in the teeth made all the more bitter when remembered in conjunction with their missing out on hosting the World Cup in 2006 as well. They now know that the next opportunity will not present itself until 2030.

The 2022 tournament will be the first 'Middle Eastern' World Cup, and the immediate on-the-pitch factor that stands out will be the searing heat.

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