The Decision


Written in 2009 by Umberto Plaja and Steffi Decker.

Edited and Updated in 2013 by Ian Bruckner, Vinay Kumar, Colby Shanafelt, Tuck Stapor, and Jordan Pearson

NOTE: This page was written in 2009, before the 2018 and 2022 World Cup decisions were made. It expresses the analysis and opinions of the authors at that time. For information regarding the 2018 World Cup in Russia or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, please click the links here or navigate to those pages from the ‘Selecting A Host‘ page.

<<Selecting A Host<<The Bids<<The Conversation

In her article, “’It’s Africa’s Turn!’ The Narratives and Legitimizations Surrounding the Moroccan and South African Bids for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA Finals,” Scarlett Cornilessen describes the technical report conducted by FIFA, which assesses the ability of the potential host countries to actually host the tournament (and in the case of choosing South Africa for 2010, conducted only two weeks before voting), as the “decisive criterion in the final voting rounds.”[1] In, Japan Korea and the 2010 World Cup, John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson conclude that “the votes of the twenty-four individuals on FIFA’s executive committee are cast not according to any logic of rational organizational life, or in star-struck spontaneity, but within a framing context of a complex international politics and a persistently influential geo-political historical legacy.”[2] Thus presented, one can see the difficulty in predicting the next hosts of the tournament. Nevertheless, we give our forecasts, based on our analysis and what we know as of now, below:


S: Mark my word: 2018: England / 2022: Australia. This, to me, gives the tournament a great sense of balance. England seems to have everything going for it at the moment. An excellent existing infrastructure, the 2012 Olympics in London, a huge enthusiasm for the sport and it hasn’t hosted since 1966. In terms of 2022, Australia is an excellent choice; I just don’t see the U.S. as quite there yet. They also hosted the games relatively recently in 1994. Japan similarly hosted them in 2002, and thus Australia stands out as a developed, yet still unique opportunity for FIFA to expand the tournament around the world.

U: The strength of a potential England bid for 2018, cannot be ignored. The World Cup is being held in South Africa, then Brazil and so it is likely that the next will go to a European nation. England, preparing to host the 2012 Olympics has presented itself as a particularly strong candidate. However, recently England seems to have encountered a number of setbacks. Reuters UK reported on November 27, 2009 that FIFA executive member Jack Warner said “the country was failing to take full advantage of its attributes and the likes of Spain and Russia were making a strong early impression”[3] Not to be completely swayed by Mr. Warner, I think England is still an excellent option, but one cannot deny the extremely competitive pool of this bidding round. For me, its definitely to be held in Europe. More specifically, I’ll give the Spain/Portugal bid the top spot; it is very telling that Blatter revoked his no “joint-bid” statement and FIFA executives are now being impressed by the bid. As to 2022? That is so far off, and it is really curious that FIFA is deciding to choose for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup at the same time. Australia seems appealing as a developed alternative to the U.S. Qatar has enormous symbolic and cultural appeal but I just don’t rationally see it happening. I’m going to agree with you Steffi, on this, Australia it is.

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How to cite this article: “The World Cup in 2018 & 2022,” Written by Steffi Decker and Umberto Plaja (2009), Edited and Updated by Ian Bruckner, Vinay Kumar, Jordan Pearson, Colby Shanafelt, and Tuck Stapor (2013), Soccer Politics Pages, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date))

[1] Cornilessen, Scarlett “‘Its Africa’s Turn!’ The Narratives and Legitimizations Surrounding the Moroccan and South African Bids for the 2006 and 2010 FIFA Finals” in Third World Quarterly 2004, Vol. 25 Issue 7, p. 1293-1309, 1300.

[2] Sugden, John and Tomlinson, Alan, “International power struggles in the governance of world football: the 2002 and 2006 World Cup bidding wars” in Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup ed. John Horne and Wolfram Manzenreiter, (London: Routledge 2002), 69.

[3] Reuters UK, “Brown Tries to Boost England 2018 World Cup Bid,” (Nov. 27, 2009):

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