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Date: 16 December 2018

  World - Soccer


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D-Day for 2018/2022 WC host apirants

[Posted 02 Dec 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Amos Adamu could not take part in the FIFA vote following his exclusion for vote-selling allegations

The world soccer governing body FIFA's 22-strong Executive Committee will today make decisions on who will host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA Wolrd Cup finals in Zurich Switzerland.

Never before has the world witnessed such an intense war of lobbying and persuasion, characterised by the role of media, especially from Britain, to try and cocme to the aid of their bidding teams by making sensational expose of vote-selling and other forms of corruption within FIFA itself.

At the time of writing, voting in Zurich had already commenced, and in the hat to seek the rights to host 2018  finals are two joint bids, that is, the Spain-Portugal bid and the Netherlands-Belgium bid, plus the bids of England and Russia, who have been billed as front-runners.

The 2022 bid sees an interesting battle among the equally competent bids of the Australia, United States of America, Qatar, South Korea and Japan. The first three are considered the strongest, and the voting is expected to be too close to call.

Voting will continue and a winner must emerge with some measure of absolute majority. Announce ments for the winners are expected at around 4pm today. It will be proadcast to the reast of the world from the Zurich's Messezentrum Conference Hall.

The voting process will be conducted by means of a secret ballot.

Each of the bidding nations made their final 30-minute presentation before the 22-FIFA Executive on Wednesday.

The FIFA panel included the controversial Issa Hayatou, who has been fingered by the BBC Panorama report, and stands accused of some vote-selling in the previous bids.

Hayatou, the sitting President of CAF, has denied any wrong doing, and his accosication, CAF, has been found to be a knight in shining armour in an hour of need. They have defended the actions of their president arguing that the money he is being accused of having received was infact sponsorship money received on behalf of CAF.

Bidding teams such as those of Spain and England have sent strong delegations backed some heavy-weight political figures.

England's bid has been boosted by the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron, while soccer icon David Beckham and Prince William have thrown their added weight to the English cause.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Portuguese counterpart Jose Socrates are in Zurich to give backing to the Iberian bid.

Not to be out-done, the USA has enlisted the support of Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton via a video appeal from the former, and the presence of the latter.

Many neutrals tip Russia to emerge as winners of the 2018 bid, but the England bid is a major threat to the Russian hopes. Some feel that the English media might have alieanted some FIFA voters through their sensational attacks on the intergrity of its members.

The Qatar bid is favored to win it in the 2022 category, and give Asia an opportunity to host the World Cup. Equally strong is the Australian bid, as well as the USA bid. Anything is possible.

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