Who will host the 2022 World Cup?

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Answered by: Robert, An Expert in the World Cup Category
The bidding process to host the 2022 World Cup is drawing to a conclusion. The winner of the FIFA-led process will be announced on December 2nd. Coming into the final two weeks, there are five countries still involved in the process: United States, Australia, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.

United States – The USA has certainly proven that it can host the event, having successfully been home to the 1994 World Cup, along with the 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cups. While FIFA does have some concerns about “governmental support,” because of US federal law and the likelihood of government subsidies being less available, the organization has no qualms about the resources and facilities available otherwise. There might be a political problem for the United States, though; if England wins the rights to the 2018 Cup (to be announced on December 2nd as well), would FIFA be willing to place two straight championships in white, English-speaking countries?

Australia – The Aussies have the advantage of never having hosted a World Cup before, and with the Socceroos on the upswing in world soccer (having qualified for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, along with joining the Asian Football Confederation), FIFA might want to use the Cup as a motivator for local soccer fanatics. However, there is a major travel issue: Australia is not convenient for anyone outside of Asia.

Qatar – Can cash buy a World Cup? We’re about to find out in the form of Qatar, which FIFA has declared is “high risk” in facilities and “medium risk” in several other categories (by comparison, the United States is medium risk in government support and low risk in anything else). However, Qatar has nearly unlimited monetary resources to work with, and could simply outspend nearly every other nation, and FIFA has an interest in putting a Cup in the Middle East.

Japan and South Korea – The 2002 World Cup co-hosts have each placed bids to host the 2022 World Cup separately, but are thought to be long shots because of how recently each nation has hosted a World Cup.

In addition, two nations originally a part of the bidding process removed themselves from contention. Mexico did not feel it had the resources to compete after the global economic downturn, and Indonesia’s government did not support the bid made by its football association.

The twenty-three remaining members of the FIFA executive committee will vote on the remaining five nations. The winning bid is required to receive 12 of those 23 votes; if no nation meets that threshold, the lowest team will be eliminated and a re-vote will be taken.

There is still a chance that one or more of the five remaining nations could be removed from contention. No continent is allowed to host the World Cup twice in a row. With the 2018 World Cup contenders all being in Europe, that isn't a problem out of current bids, but it is rumored that China wants to prepare a bid for the 2026 World Cup and FIFA would be very likely to want to place the Cup there. If China makes more noise about a 2026 bid, it could negatively affect the South Korea and Japan 2022 World Cup bids.

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