A free and open World Cup

October 31, 2007

Blatter attends a press conferenceSometimes the men in suits get it right and FIFA’s decision to open up the World Cup bidding process is right on the money.

Well, of course, money had a lot to do with the decision, but FIFA’s call to end rotation and give the finals to what they consider the best candidate makes sound footballing and commercial sense.

The only restriction is that countries from the confederations that hosted the previous two tournaments are ineligible.

Therefore the bidding battle to stage the 2018 finals will be a worldwide contest excluding only countries from Africa, who are hosting 2010, and South America, whose bid from Brazil was rubber-stamped on Tuesday. African nations can bid again for 2022, while South America can re-enter the fray in 2026.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter may have many critics, but he’s an astute politician and on Tuesday he as good as admitted FIFA had made a mistake by rotating the bidding process around the continents.

FIFA did not really anticipate that a confederation would only nominate one country like South America did for Brazil. FIFA thought there would be an internal competition, but they were wrong.

The bidding process will become more like the Olympics bidding process now, but there is nothing wrong in that. It creates excitement, generates interest and gives more countries around the world a chance, at least, of hosting the world’s greatest sporting tournament.

Mike Collett, who saw his first World Cup match in England  in 1966 and would like to see the tournament return to England in 2018.

PHOTO: October 29, 2007. FIFA’s executive committee has voted unanimously on Monday to end its policy of rotating the hosting of World Cups through its six continental confederations. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

4 comments

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I’m a bit disappointed. If I remember rightly, under the rotation system, the 2018 World Cup was due to be held in Oceania. Now, instead of Tahiti, Fiji or the Cook Islands, we could be going to Birmingham. (By the way, you were on the telly yesterday during that FIFA vote. Interesting choice of tie).

Posted by Erik Muscrat | Report as abusive

Don’t you get the feeling they only brought in the stupid rotation was to make sure South Africa got 2010, after the Germany 2006 vote fiasco.

Posted by London | Report as abusive

[...] all the details here [...]

Football is the most watched sport in the World and the rotation itself made sure that the biggest sporting World Cup was played out evenly spread around the globe.
Now, this new, free bidding form of the FIFA World Cup will no doubt be saturated with offers only from the richer nations, namely European nations and the USA.
If nothing is done about this new system the game faces a dark future in the further flung and poorer continents.

Roll on Brazil World Cup in 2014 cannot wait