Football’s coming home? Don’t bet on it

October 30, 2007

Blatter listens at a news conference

After FIFA scrapped its traditional rotation system for awarding the World Cup finals, it looks like football’s finally going home. Or is it?

Just about every news report following the unanimous decision by soccer’s world governing body to ditch its policy of rotating the hosting of World Cups through its six continental confederations from 2018 pointed to England’s attempt to rekindle the flames of 1966 when they won the tournament in their own backyard.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared: “By 2018, it will be 52 years since England hosted the World Cup. The nation which gave football to the world deserves to have the greatest tournament back on these shores.”

But just in case you missed it, there are a number of other worthy candidates or potential candidates. Australia said it will launch a “serious bid”, the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have already put their cards on the table and don’t rule out Italy and Spain or Russia or the United States. An Asian bid is also likely.

Buoyed by the fact they will host the Olympics in 2012, England are confident and why not? They have the history, the infrastructure and the know-how.

But ironically that Olympics success could be their downfall. Brazil hoped to be in the frame to host the 2016 Olympics on the back of their successful 2014 World Cup bid, but as one senior International Olympic Committee member put it: “We don’t want to be the dessert after the main course.”

FIFA officials might just feel the same way in three years’ time when they begin their deliberations in earnest for 2018.

PHOTO: Sepp Blatter attends a news conference at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, October 29. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer


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England must have learned a bit about winning a bid process from the Olympics, so presumably they won’t make the big hash of it that they did for 2006. Still, I think they’re going to have a fight on their hands. Australia in particular might be tough opponents.

Posted by Kev | Report as abusive

Seriously in this country football being dessert after a main course of the olympics? Football isn’t a sport any more it’s a religion.
If the world cup came to the UK it would undoubtedly be the main course after having the olympics as a starter.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Well at the rate we are going we will all end up spending every summer on the island of Britain – London 2012, Glasgow 2014 (Commonwealth Games), England 2015 (Rugby WC), England 2018 football WC…
Can we expect a Winter Olympics bid … because of climate change, of course?

Posted by Freddy | Report as abusive