Russia to host 2018 World Cup, Qatar wins 2022 bid

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ZURICH - Russia won Thursday the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup while Qatar will stage the 2022 tournament.

The decisions were announced here by Joseph Blatter, the president of football’s world governing body FIFA, following a secret ballot by 22 members of its executive committee.

Russia won the vote ahead of rival bidders England, Portugal/Spain and Belgium/Netherlands.

It will be the first time either Russia or Qatar will stage a World Cup.

“Let us make history together,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

Qatar, which is hosting the 2011 Asian Cup in January, won ahead of rival bidders Australia, the US, South Korea and Japan.

It becomes the first Arab country, the first from the Middle East and the Gulf region and the first Muslim nation to host football’s biggest tournament.

The vote came after the final 30-minute presentations by the 2018 candidates. The 2022 candidates made their presentations Wednesday.

The executive committee, led by Blatter, consists of eight vice presidents and 15 members, but Thursday’s vote was made by 22 instead of 24 members after the suspension of Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii over corruption allegations.

The victorious bidders for each tournament were the first to gain an absolute majority of 12 votes among the members.

FIFA was expected to announce the exact voting figures later.

The names of the winning bids were placed in an envelope and announced by Blatter at Zurich Exhibition Centre.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who did not take part in the Russian presentation, was now expected to travel to Zurich.

Putin’s spokesman, Dimitry Peskov, said before the outcome of the ballot that Putin would be delighted to meet members of the executive should Russia win the vote.

Russia was the last candidate to make its pitch, with its FIFA member Vitaly Mutko saying eastern Europe had never previously hosted the World Cup.

“Twenty one years ago the Berlin Wall was broken. Today we can break another symbolic wall and open a new era in football together,” he said.

“Russia represents new horizons for FIFA, millions of new hearts and minds and a great legacy after the World Cup, great new stadiums and millions of boys and girls embracing the game.”

Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva said: “Russia is changing and the World Cup will bring more people into sport.”

England had made what many observers felt to be a strong final pitch. Prime Minister David Cameron promised “the most spectacular World Cup in history” if England were chosen.

But their bid to host the World Cup again following 1966 ultimately failed.

In the 2022 bids Wednesday, Qatar sought to allay fears of temperatures of above 40 degrees Celsius for a tournament which would take place in June and July by offering air-conditioned stadiums.

Pledging ideal conditions for both players and supporters, Qatari bid leader Hassan al Thawadi said: “All our stadiums, training sites and fan zones will be at 27 degrees C, all solar-powered and 100 percent carbon neutral.

“The application for this technology goes far beyond stadiums. Heat will not be an issue, whatever the climate, and we want this to be a global, lasting legacy.”

The Qatar government has pledged $4 billion to build the stadiums which will be dismantled after the finals and re-erected in developing nations, leaving “a lasting legacy”, he said.

Filed under: Football

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