The votes for the 2018 World Cup are taking place in the coming days in Zurich Switzerland. It is becoming more clear that Russia, England, Spain/Portugal and Qatar are all in the running. However, the entire process is a roller coaster with emotions running high. Each day one of the countries appears stronger in their chances of winning the bid and then they take a sudden blow due to something new popping up in the news. In the coming days the world will know who is going to host the biggest sporting event in the world and Goalden will weight in on it.
For starters, what would be best for the World Cup tournament is for it to be hosted by a country that already has the infrastructure and economic system in place to host the tournament. This is something that not all the nations bidding can comfortably say.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa cost over five billion dollars yet ironically the majority of the population in South Africa didn’t have running water or electricity. The host nation did manage to get their stadiums up in time but fell drastically short on ticket sales because fans from outside of South Africa did not want to travel to such a poverty stricken and violent country. At the end of it all we must ask: is the country any further ahead in terms of living standards or building a better future for its people? Should another nation in a similar situation receive the bid?
Now we turn our attention to England.
England should receive the 2018 bid although it is much more complicated than that. England has the strongest and most popular professional football league in the world, the English Premier League. England already has the infrastructure to host a major tournament. As Sepp Blatter himself has stated, “England can organise the World Cup tomorrow.” England has also scored high in economic terms, with impressive revenue projections. There are also absolutely no fears over demands on transport and technology.
After dispatching their representatives David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham to Zurich, known as The Three Lions, the bid team will hope to convince the voting members to choose England.
Then there is Qatar, a country who is smaller than the city of London and will pose small interest from a global perspective compared to the other possible host nations. So the question must be asked: what is attracting the FIFA delegates to Qatar? They certainly must have a good presentation package for the FIFA delegates. However, the BBC’s Panorama programme recently created a whirlwind after accusing three FIFA exco members – Issa Hayatou, Ricardo Teixeira and Leoz – of taking bribes, while a Sunday Times investigation has already seen two others – Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii – removed from the voting process. One can only question the process in which Qatar has managed to squeeze itself into possibly hosting the tournament.
Russia’s bid took a serious blow when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided not to travel with the rest of the delegation for the vote.
It is an exciting time as the future is being decided in the coming days. Goalden will keep a close eye on the process and be sure to weigh in.