The Countdown ContinuesBy: David Manuca | November 23rd, 2010
In only 10 days, a decision will be made that will change Australian Football forever. This is the announcement of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup host nations.
Australia as we all know is in the running to host the 2022 World Cup, along with the United States, Qatar, Japan and South Korea. In September 2007 the Football Federation of Australia announced that we would be bidding to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But at the 2008 FIFA congress which was held in Sydney, FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggested Australia should concentrate on bidding for the 2022 World Cup instead.
It was kind of a no-brainer that one. It was impossible for Australia to win the 2018 World Cup, as it would have been the third World Cup in a row to be played outside of Europe. FIFA would have never let that happen.
So now, we are in the race to host the World Cup in 2022. The decision will be made on December 3 in Zurich. But we face some hefty competition from Qatar and the United States to host it.
Qatar are bidding to be the first ever Arab nation to host a FIFA World Cup. Qatar’s bid is based on promoting the bid as an Arab unity bid, and they 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.
President of FIFA Sepp Blatter endorsed the idea of having a World Cup in the Middle East, saying in April 2010, “The Arabic world deserves a World Cup. They have 22 countries and have not had any opportunity to organise the tournament.” Blatter also praised Qatar’s progress, “When I was first in Qatar there were 400,000 people here and now there are 1.6 million. In terms of infrastructure, when you are able to organise the Asian Games (in 2006) with more than 30 events for men and women, then that is not in question.”
Asian Football Confederation President Mohammed Bin Hammam has also thrown his weight behind the Qatar bid, by saying “I have one vote and, frankly speaking, I will vote for Qatar, but if Qatar is not in the running I will vote for another Asian country.”
Qatar have also proposed many large and modern stadiums that will capture the imagination of everyone. Also the first five proposed stadiums have been planned to employ cooling technology capable of reducing temperatures within the stadium by up to 20 degrees Celsius. This will help combat the only problem with the Qatar bid, and that is the extreme temperatures.
The other ‘major’ bidder for the 2022 World Cup is the United States of America. The U.S only hosted a World Cup 16 years ago, in 1994, but are bidding once again.
The United States, like Australia, initially were only bidding for the 2018 World Cup. But in January 2009 they decided to bid for both World Cups, and then in October 2010 announced they would be bidding only for the 2020 World Cup.
The U.S bid is apparently one of the strongest, with fantastic infrastructure and stadiums. U.S President Barack Obama is also behind the bid after he sent a letter to Sepp Blatter in April 2009 supporting the bid.
The other bids for the 2022 World Cup are from South Korea and Japan, but neither are favourites to get the rights to host the tournament.
The countdown continues until the announcement of the successful nations are made, and this blogger can not wait. It’s going to be a huge moment for Australian Football, and hopefully for the better. To see a World Cup in Australia is my dream, and in just 10 days we will all find out if that will become a reality.