I bet no one saw that coming. I mean seriously, how can Australia get 1 vote, one solitary vote in the first round (which was most probably Oceania), and England get 2 votes. Australia was beaten by a nation that hosted the thing 8 years ago….
I am going to leave one of my European friends to give us the answers with regards to the 2018 bid that went to Russia, as I don’t have the background to understand it. But I can offer something on the Qatar bid.
There are two schools of thought on this incredible decision. One, the pro Australia school, and the other, the pro Qatar school:
School of thought 1: Pro Australia
Fifa produced a report basically picking apart all bids and presenting it to the 22 voting members. This report labelled Australia as “highly recommended”. The report was damning of Qatar’s summer bid due to the extreme heat in the desert region.
Japan received 3 votes in round one (which was the round that Australia was kicked out in). In round 2, they received 2 votes??? One of the voting members changed their first preference between round 1 and 2? Surely you would keep your first preference the same if the country you voted for was still in the competition???
The result was leaked to an Arab radio station over half an hour before the votes were announced. Word is the Qatari Royal family leaked the result, meaning they were some how in the inner sanctum of the Fifa voting system. Frank Lowy admitted that he knew the result when he walked into the auditorium as there were groups already celebrating in the foyer and none of the delegates would look him in the eye. Conspiracy will plague this vote for years.
Qatar has oil, and pumped millions (that we know of anyway) into the voting members (not just the bid itself).
Qatar is an Arabic Muslim country and their main ally is IRAN!!! They even share defence projects with them, and Iran has one of the most unloved extremist leaders of all time! I am assuming all women will need to cover up, I am assuming their will be no alcohol on the streets and there are no pubs there (drinking is usually saved for the 5 star western hotel foyers) due to Muslim beliefs. My experience with the World Cup in Germany was that beer, merriment and football go hand in hand. I’m not sure how many families will be making the trip to the Qatari desert to watch a Belgium V Paraguay clash.
There are less than 2 million people in Qatar. Their population will probably double over the four week period of the cup.
They have never qualified for a world cup. Never….. Their national team is rubbish
School of thought 2:
Like South Africa, Fifa believe that they are much more than just a governing sports body. They believe they are a blue print for world peace and social harmony. For Fifa to claim that they really do run the world game, they needed to tick off Africa and the Middle East. They chose the two most accessible and western countries available. Qatar will allow them to tick the Middle East off forever and then they can get back to Europe for the next 50 years. Qatar is safe, fairly conservative and very much already a corridor for western traffic.
They have the infrastructure to manage the world cup because it will not be very big. There is no room and their will not be the tourism of say a Germany or a Brazil. It will be a small, quiant and compact world cup, which will focus mainly on the TV coverage which is where the money is anyway.
They are so abundantly rich that their bid was out of this world. They have promised incredible stadiums, which get this, when the tournament is over, they will pull down and give to poor developing countries and help them rebuild them!!! Beat that Australia. All stadiums will be fully air conditioned!!!
The Arab history, colour and culture are insanely beautiful, and it will be easy to come up with opening and closing ceremonies that Australia could never compete with. No Kangaroos on mountain bikes here!!!!
And finally, and most importantly in my eyes, Qatar is a football loving nation. They are mad, one eyed and all consuming football lovers. When the news of the bid for Australia was announced, AFL major toss bag raised his eyebrow and stated smugly that AFL has a legally binding contract over the two biggest stadiums in Australia. The NRL played a similar tune and most Australian’s said, yeah great if we get it, but you know…. When Qatar won the bid, almost 1 million people hit the streets and will celebrate for a month. In Melbourne, 3.9 million Melbournians did not know the result until 8:00AM this morning when they turned on their car radio, and the couple of hundred people that showed up to Fed square to watch the vote, surely will feel disappointed, but know deep down that the support of the nation is not there. Any one doubting this needs only look at the A-league attendances this year.
The above is written by Dylan Evans, a friend of Sportpunter.com