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The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups is currently under way. These will be the 21st and 22nd editions of the FIFA World Cup. The bidding procedure to host both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest.[1] The executive committee of FIFA will announce their decision on the two editions in December 2010.[2] Candidates have applied for either or both of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, but the 2022 hosts will not be chosen from the same continent as the 2018 hosts.[3]

Nine individual nations registered their intention to bid with FIFA by the February 2009 deadline: Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Qatar, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Additionally Belgium and the Netherlands registered to bid together, as have Portugal and Spain.[4] Mexico however later withdrew its bid. FIFA confirmed the list of bidders in March, with Indonesia, South Korea and Qatar bidding for 2022 only.[5]

In October 2007, FIFA ended the continental rotation policy. Instead the last two tournament host confederations are ineligible, leaving Africa ineligible for 2018 and South America ineligible for both 2018 and 2022.[6] Other factors in the selection process include the number of suitable stadia, and their location across candidate nations. Due to the number of bids received by FIFA, this World Cup is expected to be the most hotly contested bid ever, mainly due to the revision in FIFA's rotation policy. As a result, Sepp Blatter has said that FIFA may follow the International Olympic Committee and have a preliminary elimination of bids some time before the final ceremony.[7]

Contents

Schedule

Date Notes
15 January 2009 Applications formally invited
2 February 2009 Closing date for registering intention to bid
16 March 2009 Deadline to submit completed bid registration forms
14 May 2010 Deadline for submission of full details of bid
2 December 2010 FIFA to appoint hosts for 2018 and 2022 World Cups

Rotation policy

FIFA's confederations

Following the selection of the 2006 World Cup hosts, FIFA decided on a new policy for determining the hosts of future editions. The six world confederations—roughly corresponding to continents—would rotate in their turn of providing bids, for a specific edition, from within their member national associations. This system was used only for the selection of the 2010 (South Africa) and 2014 World Cup (Brazil) hosts, open only to CAF and CONMEBOL members, respectively.

In September 2007 the rotation system came under review when it was proposed that only the last two World Cup host confederations be ineligible.[8] This proposal was adopted on 29 October 2007, in Zürich, Switzerland by FIFA's Executive Committee. Under this policy, a 2018 bid could have come from North America, Asia, Europe, or Oceania, as Africa and South America are ineligible.[9] Likewise, no CONMEBOL member could have made a 2022 bid, and candidates from the same confederation as the successful 2018 applicant will be disregarded in the 2022 selection procedure.

On 26 January 2010, Sepp Blatter announced that talks were underway to streamline the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. He stated that he discussed with the president of UEFA Michel Platini the possibility to allow only a European candidate to be evaluated for the 2018 World Cup to facilitate the work of FIFA and its executive committee. Should this measure be adopted, only four bids would remain in contention for the 2018 World Cup, namely England, Russia, and the two joint bids, by Belgium/Netherlands and Portugal/Spain. It would also mean that only six bids would remain in contention for the 2022 World Cup as the remaining European bids would be ineligible for this tournament because of the October 2007 FIFA host selection rules.[10]

Current bids

Eleven bids were submitted in March 2009 covering thirteen nations, with two joint bids: Belgium-Netherlands and Portugal-Spain. Mexico also submitted a bid, but withdrew theirs on 28 September 2009. Three of the remaining ten bids, Indonesia, South Korea and Qatar, are only for the 2022 World Cup, while all the others are bidding for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.[11] Five bids come from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), four from Europe's UEFA, and one from North America's CONCACAF. It had also been reported on the FIFA website that Egypt was entering a bid, but the president of the Egyptian Football Association denied that any more than an inquiry in principle had been made.[12]

 Bids 
for
2018
and
2022
 Australia
Map of 2018 FIFA World Cup bids.svg
 Belgium &  Netherlands
 England
 Japan
 Russia
 Spain &  Portugal
 USA
2022
only
 Indonesia
 South Korea
 Qatar
     Bid for 2018 & 2022
     Bid for 2022 only
     Ineligible in 2018
     Ineligible in both
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Australia

Australia's 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo

In September 2007, the Football Federation Australia confirmed that Australia would bid for the 2018 World Cup finals.[13] Previously, in late May 2006, the Victorian sports minister, Justin Madden, said that he wanted his state to drive a bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.[14] Frank Lowy, the FFA chairman, has stated that they are aiming to use 16 stadia for the bid.[15] Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the Federal Government's support for the bid,[16] and in December 2008, Federal minister for sport Kate Ellis announced that the federal government would give the FFA $45.6 million to fund its World Cup bid preparation.[17] Rudd met with Sepp Blatter to discuss the Commonwealth Government's support of the bid in Zurich in July 2009.[18] At the 58th FIFA Congress, held in Sydney, FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggested that Australia concentrate on hosting the 2022 tournament,[19] but Lowy responded by recommitting Australia to its 2018 bid.[20]

One possible stumbling block to the bid is that almost all of Australia's largest stadiums are used by other major Australian sports whose domestic seasons overlap with the World Cup. The Australian Football League[21] and National Rugby League[22] claim that loss of access to almost all their major venues for eight weeks would severely disrupt their seasons and even impact the viability of their clubs. The AFL in particular has advised it will not give up Etihad Stadium in Melbourne for the entire period required.[23] Compensation claims for the disrupted seasons of the local codes may run into several hundred million Australian dollars. The AFL and NRL and possibly also the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) will lobby for equity from the government.

Previously, Australia has hosted several football tournaments. The FIFA U-20 World Cup has twice been held in Australia, in 1993 and 1981, as has the Olympic football tournament (1956 and 2000). Australia has also hosted the OFC Nations Cup twice (1998 and 2004). Australia has also enjoyed success hosting other major sporting events recently, with the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne and the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Australia is bidding to host the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[24] If Australia were to win the bidding for 2018 it would make them the 3rd Southern Hemisphere team in a row to host the tournament after 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Belgium and the Netherlands

Belgium and the Netherlands' 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo

Alain Courtois, a Belgian Member of Parliament, announced in October 2006 that a formal bid would be made on behalf of the three Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.[25] In June 2007 the three countries launched their campaign not as a joint bid in the manner of the Korea-Japan World Cup in 2002, but emphasizing it as a common political organization.[26] Luxembourg would not host any matches or automatically qualify for the finals in a successful Benelux bid, but would host a FIFA congress.[27]

Belgium and the Netherlands registered their intention to bid jointly in March 2009.[4] A delegation led by the presidents of the Belgian and Dutch national football associations met FIFA president Sepp Blatter on 14 November 2007, officially announcing their interest in submitting a joint bid.[28] On 19 March 2008 the delegation also met with UEFA President Michel Platini to convince him that it was a serious offer under one management. Afterwards they claimed to have impressed Platini, who supports the idea of getting the world cup to Europe.[29]

Another factor that is against the Benelux bid is the lack of a 80,000 capacity stadium to host the final.[30] However, the city council of Rotterdam gave permission in March 2009 for development of a new stadium with a capacity of around 80,000 seats to be completed in time for the possible World Cup in 2018. In November 2009, the venues were presented. In Belgium, matches will be played in 7 venues: Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Charleroi, Genk, Ghent and Liège. In the Netherlands, only five cities would host matches: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Heerenveen and Rotterdam, but both Amsterdam and Rotterdam will provide two stadia. Eindhoven will function as the 'capital city' of the World Cup.[31]

Euro 2000 was also jointly hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. On 23 June former French football international Christian Karembeu was presented as official counselor for the joint bid.

England

England's 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo

On 31 October 2007, The Football Association officially announced that it will bid to host the event.[32] [33]

On 24 April 2008 England finalised a 63-page bid to host the 2018 World Cup, focusing on the development of football worldwide.[34] On 24 October 2008 the Football Association named the Executive Board to prepare the bid: FA chairman Lord Triesman, Sir Dave Richards (chairman of the Premier League), Lord Mawhinney (chairman of the Football League), David Gill (chief executive of Manchester United), Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, Simon Johnson, Sir Keith Mills (deputy Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games), Baroness Amos and Sir Martin Sorrell.[35] On 27 January 2009, England officially submitted their bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[36] Richard Caborn will lead England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup after stepping down as Sports Minister.[37]

The British government is backing the England 2018 bid. In November 2005, then-Chancellor Gordon Brown and Sport Minister Tessa Jowell first announced that they were to investigate the possibility of bidding.[38] That month, Adrian Bevington, the Football Association's Director of Communications, announced the support of the Government and the Treasury in the bid, but put off definite proposals.[39] Brown reiterated his support for a bid in March 2006, before England's 2006 World Cup campaign,[40] and again in May 2006.[41] The UK government launched its official report on 12 February 2007, in which it was made clear that its support was for an England-only bid and that all games would be played at English grounds.[42]

FIFA Officials have also expressed interest in an English bid. David Will, a vice-president of FIFA, noted England's World Cup proposal as early as May 2004.[43] Franz Beckenbauer, leader of Germany's successful bid for the 2006 World Cup and a member of FIFA's Executive Committee, has twice publicly backed an English bid to host the World Cup, in January and July 2007.[44] [45] FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said he would welcome a 2018 bid from "the homeland of football."[46] Blatter met Gordon Brown on 24 October 2007 to discuss the bid while paying a visit to England.[47] England has previously hosted the 1966 World Cup which it won and Euro '96, as well as previously bidding for the 2006 World Cup. Should England succeed, it would be the sixth nation to host the World Cup for a second time.[30]

The venues selected on 16 December 2009 to form the bid were: London (three stadia), Manchester (two stadia), Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.[48]

Indonesia

Indonesia's 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo.

In January 2009 the Football Association of Indonesia confirmed their intention to bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cups, with government support.[49] [50] In February 2009 the Football Association of Indonesia launched "Green World Cup Indonesia 2022" campaign.[51] This campaign included a $1 billion plan to upgrade supporting infrastructure beside stadia to meet FIFA's requirements. The funds to construct stadia are to come from regional governments.[52] Though its team is currently ranked 137 in the FIFA World Rankings, Indonesia has previously made World Cup history. It became the first Asian nation to play in a World Cup, at the 1938 tournament in France under its colonial name of the Dutch East Indies.[53] Indonesia also has recent tournament hosting experience as the co-host of 2007 AFC Asian Cup.

In the campaign presentation, Indonesian FA president, Nurdin Halid said he believed Indonesia stood a chance to win FIFA's approval to host the 2022 World Cup, despite the relatively poor infrastructure, coupled with the low quality of the national squad compared to other candidates. He said Indonesia had proposed a "Green World Cup 2022", hoping to capitalize on the current green and global warming movement worldwide: "Our deforestation rate has contributed much to world pollution. By hosting the World Cup, we wish to build infrastructure and facilities that are environmentally friendly so we can give more to the planet."[51]

The bid launched at the moment when there were strong pressures from Indonesian football fans to Nurdin Halid, to step down from his position as the chairman of PSSI.

There was no official support from the government of Indonesia until 9 February 2010, the deadline for the country's government to file a letter of support for the bid.[54] Secretary General of PSSI Nugraha Besoes did not deny the information that Indonesia has been disqualified from the bidding process because the Indonesian goverment did not support the bid. PSSI is still awaiting official confirmation from FIFA.[55]

Japan

Japan's 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo.

Japan is bidding to become the first Asian country to host the World Cup twice; however, the fact that they were co-hosts so recently in 2002 is expected to work against them in their bid. [56] Although Japan does not currently have an 80,000-seat capacity stadium, its plan was based on a proposed 100,000-seat stadium that would have gone on to be a centrepiece of 2016 Olympics, for which it was also bidding. The Olympic bid was unsuccessful, coming third in the bidding process that concluded in October 2009. The Vice-President of the Japan Football Association, Junji Ogura, had previously admitted that if Tokyo were to fail in its bid, its chances of hosting either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup would not be very good.[57] Japan has however won the rights to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Portugal and Spain

Portugal and Spain 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo

The President of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), Gilberto Madail, first proposed a joint bid with Spain in November 2007.[7][58] The bid intent was confirmed by FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, on 18 February 2008.[59] However, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Angel Villar, announced in July 2008 that it was Spain's intention to submit an individual World Cup bid, and that positive contacts had already taken place with the government, through the secretary of sports, Jaime Lissavetzky. No specifications were made then regarding a joint bid with Portugal.[60] On 23 November 2008, after his re-election for the RFEF presidency, Villar pledged that one of the fundamental objectives of his term would be to bring a World Cup to Spain. While he did not mention whether Spain would present a joint bid with Portugal, he did not rule it out when asked about it.[61]

On 23 December 2008, Angel Villar restated "We need to present a strong, consistent and winning bid for the 2018 World Cup." He further confessed "Personally, I think it should be with Portugal."[62] Subsequently, in the aftermath of a RFEF meeting board, Spain and Portugal announced their intention to bid together.[63] Spanish sports newspaper Marca advanced some details about the potential bid: Spain would lead a twelve-stadium project with eight of the venues, and the opening and final games would be held in Lisbon and Madrid, respectively.[64] Spain has previously hosted the 1982 World Cup, while Portugal organized the Euro 2004. If the Portuguese-Spanish joint bid succeeds, Spain would become the sixth nation to host the World Cup for a second time.

Qatar

Qatar's 2022 World Cup Bid logo

Qatar, with a population of just over 1.3 million people, has made a bid for only the 2022 World Cup. Despite having a shortage of World-Cup-standard stadia, Qatar is attempting to become the first Arab nation to host the World Cup.[30] Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of the present Emir of Qatar, is the chairman of the bid committee.[65] Qatar is planning to promote this bid as an Arab unity bid and hope to draw on support from the entire Arab world, and are positioning this as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Arab and western worlds.[66]

Working against the Qatar bid is the extreme temperature in the desert nation. The World Cup is always held in the European off-season in June and July. During this period the average daytime high in most of Qatar is in excess of 40°C (104°F), the average daily low temperatures not dropping below 30°C (86°F). In response to this issue, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the 2022 Qatar bid chairman, has stated, "the event has to be organized in June or July. We will have to take the help of technology to counter the harsh weather. We have already set in motion the process. A stadium with controlled temperature is the answer to the problem. We have other plans up our sleeves as well. "[67] Qatar launched an advertising campaign across the Gulf nation.[68]

Qatar gave a feel of what the World Cup would be like by holding a friendly match between Brazil and England. Furthermore, people coming from different nations visited Qatar for this match, and thus, strengthening the image Qatar will depict of their interest in the World Cup 2022. Additionally, Qatar is due to host the 2011 Asian Cup and this should provide a glimpse of Qatar's investment towards the development of its sports infrastructure.[69]

Russia

Russia's 2018–2022 World Cup Bid logo

Russia announced its intent to bid in early 2009, and submitted its request to FIFA in time.[70] Russia's Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin has taken a keen interest in the bid and has gone so far as ordering Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sports, to "prepare a bid for Russia to hold the 2018 World Cup". According to a report earlier submitted by Vitaly Mutko, who also served that time as President of the Russian Football Union (RFU), the country is ready to spend some $10 billion on the tournament.[71] The bid committee also includes RFU CEO Alexei Sorokin and Alexander Djordjadze as the Director of Bid Planning and Operations.[72]

Fourteen cities are included in the current proposal, which divides them into five different clusters: one in the north, centered on St. Petersburg, a central cluster, centered on Moscow, a southern cluster, centered on Sochi, and the Volga River cluster. Only one city beyond the Ural Mountains is cited, Yekaterinburg. The other cities are: Kaliningrad in the north cluster, Podolsk in the center cluster, Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar in the south cluster and Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Saransk, Samara and Volgograd in the Volga River cluster.[73] The country does not currently have a stadium with 80,000 capacity, but Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, already a UEFA Elite stadium, has a capacity of over 78,000 and can easily be expanded to meet that figure. Russia hopes to have five stadia fit to host World Cup matches ready by 2013 – two in Moscow and one stadium each in St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi, which is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.[74]

South Korea

South Korea's 2022 World Cup bid logo

Like fellow 2002 co-host Japan, South Korea has entered the bidding process, albeit only for the 2022 World Cup. Han Sung-Joo (한승주), a former South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, was appointed as the Chairman of the Bidding Committee in August 2009.[75] He has since met with FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Zürich, Switzerland.[76] Although South Korea does not currently have an 80,000 capacity stadium, it could upgrade an existing venue to meet that capacity. There are three grounds which can seat over 60,000 people—Seoul Olympic Stadium, Seoul World Cup Stadium and Daegu Stadium—and other venues meet hosting requirements as they were built for the 2002 World Cup.[30] In January 2010, the president Lee Myung-bak visited the headquarter of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland to meet Sepp Blatter in support of the South Korean bid.

The 12 Cities selected to hold the finals should South Korea win the bid were selected in March 2010 are:- Busan, Cheonan, Daegu, Daejeon, Goyang, Gwangju, Incheon (2 Venues), Jeonju, Jeju, Seoul (2 Venues), Suwon and Ulsan.[77]

United States

USA 2018-2022 Bid

U.S. Soccer said in February 2007 that it would put forth a bid for the 2018 World Cup.[78] The United States previously hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup, which set financial, attendance, and average attendance records.[79] Every CONCACAF Gold Cup (two jointly hosted with Mexico) along with both the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups were held in the country. The vice president of FIFA, Jack Warner, who is also the president of CONCACAF, originally said he would try to bring the World Cup back to the CONCACAF region.[80] However, Warner also stated that he would prefer if the USSF changed their plans to make a bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[81] In April 2009, American President Barack Obama wrote a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter in support of the American bid, and then met with him in July 2009.[82][83]

On 28 January 2009, U.S. Soccer announced that it would submit simultaneous bids for the 2018 and 2022 Cups.[84] David Downs, president of Univision Sports, is executive director of the bid. Other committee members include president of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer chief executive officer Dan Flynn, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, and Phil Murphy, the former national finance chair for the Democratic National Committee.[85] Initially, in April 2009, the U.S. identified 70 stadia in 50 communities as possible venues for the tournament, with 58 confirming their interest.[79][86] The list of stadia was trimmed two months later to 45 in 37 communities,[87] and in August 2009 was trimmed again to 32 stadiums in 27 communities.[88] In January 2010 the list of 18 cities and 21 stadiums which were selected to be included in the final bid was released.[89] A feature of the bid is the access to large American football stadiums. The 21 venues have an average capacity of 77,000, and none seat fewer than 65,000.[89] Seven of the stadiums seat at least 80,000,[89] which at 2009 was not only the most of any competing bid, but in terms of infrastructure already built, was more than all of the other bids combined. The 18 host cities are Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Denver, Tampa, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, and New York.

Unlike the situation in Australia, conflict with other major American sports, specifically American football and baseball, will not be an issue for the bid:

  • The American football season does not start until late August, more than a month after the scheduled end of the World Cup.
  • Although the Major League Baseball season runs alongside the World Cup, none of the venues on the final list will be in use by an MLB team in either 2018 or 2022. The only venue currently being used by an MLB team is Sun Life Stadium, but its baseball occupants, the Florida Marlins, plan to move to a new park in 2012.

Cancelled bids

Mexico

Former Mexican Football Federation President, Alberto de la Torre, announced their intention to bid for the cup in 2005. Mexico had originally hoped to bid for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but was ineligible because of the rotation policy at that time.[90] If chosen for either 2018 or 2022, Mexico would have become the first country to host the World Cup for a third time. However, Mexico pulled out of the bidding process on 28 September 2009. Justino Compeán y Decio de María, president of the Mexican Football Federation, announced the withdrawal citing a lack of funding both from within the Federation and through third parties, largely due to the contemporary global recession.[91] It is thought that the age of Mexico's stadia meant that they would have required significant investment to meet FIFA's standards.[92] Thirteen new stadiums had been proposed, including venues in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Ciudad Juárez, the Laguna region, and Mexico City.[30]

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