ZURICH SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 02: The Emir State of Qatar HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani is presented with the World Cup Trophy by FIFA President Joseph S Blatter as Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned looks on during the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement at the Messe Conference Centre on December 2 2010 in Zurich Switzerland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
As I am sure everyone knows by now, both World Cup bids announced this morning came as a surprise to everyone that did not put money in pockets or have those pockets attached to their pants. Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. After much hope and speculation, FIFA truly proved its blathering incompetence and showed once and for all they are an absolute travesty of an organization. By almost any account, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was more interested in padding his legacy than awarding the World Cups to countries that actually deserve them. Follow me after the break to continue the rant...
Let's look at the 2018 bid first. England was thought to be the favorite for the past couple of years. For starters, they hadn't hosted a World Cup since 1966 and just think of how we get when we haven't hosted the Olympics for a cycle or two. Then consider we don't even believe that we invented the Olympics and you have the English state of mind. Despite all of this, the Spain/Portugal bid gained momentum although this was mainly due to rumors they were planning on colluding with Qatar in a grand vote exchange type of a deal. Shocking in the world of FIFA, I know. Somehow with no vote trading and no history like England, Russia was thought to take the lead despite Vladimir Putin sending a lackey rather than flying to Zurich himself. Coincidentally, Putin immediately hopped on a plane to Zurich AFTER the announcement was made that they won the WC. I'll let you put two and two together because I'm done with math after spending all day trying to find a scenario where the USA could have won the 2022 vote.
While I won't have as much on this as the Qatar winning bid, long story short Russia pulled the upset. Apparently FIFA, and by that I mean Sepp Blatter, is big the past few years on spreading the game to parts of the world that have not experienced the World Cup effect. Wait a minute, I thought a mark against the US was we didn't appreciate the game fully? You mean there is a European nation that, gasp, does not appreciate the beautiful game? Apparently FIFA did. Even though only one of Russia's stadiums passes FIFA requirements, and the fact that travel infrastructure and travel between games will be a nightmare, they won the bid.
I think England suffered from an anti-English sentiment, much as I think the US did. FIFA likes to use the excuse of hooliganism as a crutch against the England bid (as if Qatar is so much safer, considering they are not big fans of Israel). Oh, and I forgot to mention that the hooliganism FIFA likes to reference hasn't been going on like it did the the 70's and 80's. Let's be honest, every team will have that small group of pure turds that have to ruin the fun for everyone else. So to hold that against England fans when Serbian fans did much more recently is absurd. England has all the facilities, the fans, the money, and the infrastructure. To give it to Russia is at best asinine and at worst absolutely pathetic.
And now on to Qatar. Oh, wonderful Qatar. We drew 3.6 million fans in 1994, and most people in the US had never seen a soccer match. We could easily sell out EVERY game in 2022 without a doubt. Yet the bid is awarded to a country that has a total population of 1.7 million. That's right, the whole pile of sand country that is Qatar came to the US World Cup games twice over. And let's not forget that the ENTIRE country is just over 4,400 square miles. Who's the genius at FIFA that thought putting hundreds of thousands of random fans into a country that's already smaller than my toilet? Are they aware of congestion? If you want to have the games heavily attended, you need lots of people. If you have lots of people, you need lots of space. Apparently Sepp Blatter will figure out a way to magically transport all these crowded people around efficiently. That's before they figure out a way to build the amount of hotels that will be needed to house this many people, which by the way will never be needed again after 30 days because who really wants to go to a place like Qatar anyway?
We can also look at the security risks. The US bid was viewed as the most secure, Qatar as the riskiest. I know I would put my money on the riskiest, that's definitely a wise idea. Let's see here, there are lots of stadiums very close together in Qatar (most will have to be built of course). I am sure security won't be an issue at all. So throwing security out, where would you put an event that requires massive logistics: a large country where games will be spread out and run by people used to hosting big sporting events or a country that HAS HOSTED NO BIG EVENTS EVER but is squashing everything together in already dense country?
Let's look at weather. FIFA medical chief Michel D'Hooghe cited heat in the 1994 WC games as a serious concern. So what should we do in 2022? Go play in the middle of a damn desert! What a great idea! But wait! Qatar's stadiums will have open roofs. So how do they propose to counter the heat issues? They will magically develop a Willy Wonka air conditioning system that will keep the stadiums cool and keep the heat out, despite open roofs. And then they will donate the air systems to needy countries. I know if I was dying of starvation in a 3rd world country, the first thing I would be looking for is air conditioning. Don't get me wrong, it's great they will donate the systems to needy people, but if that seriously is what put Qatar on top, that's just patently ridiculous.
Finally, if it wasn't known before, we now all know FIFA can and will be bought. Yes, the rich oil country of Qatar can afford to outlay more cash to this than anyone right now. But what happens when attendance disappoints or these new planned stadiums fail to meet their promised designs? What happens when FIFA realizes that the US may not have paid more NOW but the 2022 attendance and ticket prices could have eclipsed the massive success of the 1994 World Cup? Don't forget that World Cup still holds records in attendance and revenue. Instead if any of that happens, FIFA officials will have to answer for going for the instant gratification rather than who would make the most money in the long run. They will definitely need a rich country to host the 2026 WC to bail them out of all the debt they will accrue when Qatar ends up like Dubai, a debt saddled country that is a playground for rich people lifted up on the backs of wage slavery.
This may sound vindictive, but I hope the Qatar bid ends up falling through like Colombia in 1986 and FIFA looks to the US to be the 2022 version of 1986 Mexico. I mean we are starting to get a reputation for bailing out, might as well expand it internationally. By then I hope newly appointed USSF President Frank Klopas opens negotiations by telling FIFA to shove it up their A**. We would of course agree to bail them out in the end but only after forcing FIFA to make a humiliating and public apology to the whole world for approving such a disastrous plan from the beginning.