The 2014 FIFA World Cup is destined to be held in Brazil. The hosts for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup’s have yet to be decided. It was, on Friday evening, made clear that the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be a European country. The United States of America was still technically in the running to host the event until Friday evening when they withdrew on the advice of the FIFA World Cup committee who made it clear that they will choose a European nation. Were the United States of America to have maintained its bid it would have been a forlorn case and a waste of money. Thus the United States of America has decided to concentrate its focus on its 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. FIFA also confirmed that the 2022 host is unlikely to be European or South American, suggesting it will be a race between Australia, Japan and the United States of America.
With Europe represented in 2018, South America in 2014 and Africa in 2010, it appears only right and fair that the other tournament, in 2022, should be held in either Asia, Australasia or America.
Australia are the ideal choice. The tournament has never been hosted in Australasia and this would, therefore, present an ideal opportunity to remedy this anomaly. Japan has hosted the tournament before, as part of a joint effort with South Korea in 2002, and the United States of America has hosted the tournament too, in 1994. Both World Cup finals were considered successes, especially on the commercial front. The 1994 tournament in America was remembered for the fantastic modern arenas and Diana Ross’ failed penalty kick but the football on display during the tournament was hardly of the highest quality, with numerous players complaining about the stifling heat. The 2002 tournament was fondly remembered for the partisan crowds, fanatic scenes surrounding international football stars and shock results but numerous bad refereeing decisions tainted the tournament. FIFA, the world governing body on matters concerning football, have an obvious agenda when deciding who will host the World Cup finals in 2018 and 2022. On the one hand the association will wish to maximise exposure, and therefore commercial revenues, but also continue the steady growth of football’s popularity throughout the world. Australia, Australasia and the United States of America all offer ideal opportunities to attract new audiences and extend the global reach of football but perhaps only Japan and the United States of America can guarantee the types of commercial revenues that FIFA will be searching for. The World Cup represents FIFA’s biggest opportunity to create revenue and accounts for a large share of its profits.