Russia To Host 2018 FIFA World Cup, Qatar For 2022




FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup

Zurich: The Russian bid was given preference to that of England, Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium to host the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup. Qatar’s bid earned a majority over that of the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea to get the limelight in 2022.

Both decisions were made on Thursday following a secret ballot of the 22 member panel of FIFA in Zurich. Russia received 9 votes in the 1st round and a majority of 13 in the 2nd round of voting, while Qatar obtained an outright majority of 14 in the fourth round of voting for 2022.

It is the first time ever in history that Russia and Qatar have been chosen as the host nation for the FIFA World Cup. “You have given us the responsibility for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and I can promise, we all can promise, you won’t regret it,” said Russian Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov to the press and media. “Let us make history together.” Russia’s selection comes despite the absence of PM Vladimir Putin.

Putin was expected to be a prominent figure for the Russian bid in the final days of campaigning but instead he remained in Moscow. He is now expected to fly to Zurich to thank FIFA for what he described as “a sign of trust” for his country. “I would like to assure the FIFA panel that we will do everything possible to ensure that the 2018 football World Cup is staged at the highest level,” he quoted in a television interview.

Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was in attendance in Zurich, and he thanked FIFA for “believing in the change”. The small sized oil rich state,will be the first Middle East country to host a sporting event of an International stature, and a central crux of their bid centred around boosting the region’s global profile.

Under the proposals submitted to FIFA, Qatar would renovate the existing 3 stadiums and build 9 new ones, with the 12 venues divided among 7 host cities. The country has also launched a huge spending policy in past few years to accommodate its growing population, spending out billions on roads, rail and air.

Russia’s plan for arranging better facilities in the host cities are also in line with FIFA’s long-term plans for developing the sport, especially in those regions with outdated infrastructure. Russia has proposed conducting the World Cup in 13 cities, grouped into 4 clusters.

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