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Date: 16 December 2018

  World - Soccer


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FIFA choose new hosts...Russia, Qatar

[Posted 03 Dec 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Russia and Qatar won the rights to stage the soccer 2018 and 2022 WC finals respectively

The world soccer governing body FIFA ensured that the global showpiece will revert to being staged in virgin lands after Brazil 2014, when the 22- strong Executive Committee awarded the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 finals to Russia and Qatar respectively.

As Beezsports.com had predicted yesterday that Russia and Qatar were favourites, the FIFA EXCO confirmed what had been apparent in the final two weeks prior to voting.

In winning the rights to stage the 2018 world soccer spectacle, Russia beat the co-bids of Spain-Portugal,  Belgium-Netherlands, and the English bid.

Qatar emerged first ahead of United States of America, South Korea and Japan to win the right to host the 2022 world cup finals.

The 2018 voting process only lasted two rounds, unlike the 2022 bid which went as far as the fourth round.

Russia received 9 votes in the first round of the 2018 voting process, before achieving an absolute majority of 13 votes in the second and decisive round.

England was eliminated in the first round with 2 votes. The joint bids of Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal joined Russia in the second round with 4 and 7 votes respectively. While Russia increased votes to 13 in the second round, the Iberian bid remained at 7 votes.

The 2022 voting process lasted four rounds. The Australian bid was eliminated in the first round after garnering only 1 vote, and Qatar was the highest with 11 votes, but not an absolute majority needed to clinch the rights.

In the second round Japan got eliminated with only 2 votes, and interestingly Qatar's votes dropped to 10 while second placed USA increased its share from 3 to 5 votes. In the third round, Qatar gained the vote lost in round two, with USA adding a single vote to 6 votes. South Korea, at 5 votes, was eliminated.

The fourth round delivered an absolute majority for Qatar, and they garnered 14 votes as opposed to USA's 8 votes.

FIFA through its President Joseph Sepp Blatter, announced the results of the very exciting world cup contests from Zurich's Messezentrum Conference Hall.

The FIFA president was delighted by the the fact that new hosts had been confirmed by the voting process in Zurich.

“I have to say thanks to to the Executive Committee of FIFA because for 2018 and 2022 we go to new lands, because the FIFA World Cup has never been in Eastern Europe or the Middle East.

"So, I'm a happy president when we speak of the development of football," beamed Blatter.

The Swiss national did not  forget to laud the losing bidders.

"But I have to give big compliments to all the bidders for the big job they have done and the messages they have delivered.

"All have delivered the message that football is more than just a game. Football is not only about winning; it is also a school of life where you must learn to lose, and that is not easy,” Blatter added.

Representatives of the winning bids were ecstatic after the announcements.

Igor Shuvalov, Russia's deputy prime minister promised that his country will repay the faith shown by FIFA.

“You have entrusted us with the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and I can promise that you will never regret it. Let us make history together,”  Shuvalov said.

His counterpart from Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani  was equally grateful to FIFA.

"Thank you for believing in change, for expanding the game and for giving Qatar a chance.

"You will be proud of us - and you will be proud of the Middle East. I promise you this," the Qatar leader said.

This year's announcement of winners was the most popular in the history of FIFA. It attracted so much controversies about vote-selling and some FIFA EXCO members were victims and they were expelled from FIFA before the voting took place yesterday.

About 70 TV stations, numerous radio stations and more than 1000 reporters were faithful enough to keep their respective audiences and viewers informed of developments in Zurich.

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