Man, Big Dunc is slipping. A cross country trip and a new job and a boring Survivor season has prevented Big Dunc from writing anything new. My news, and this post, is definitely late breaking, as in late breaking, not breaking late. Got it?
Anyways, I figured I'd share my thoughts a few weeks late on the announcement of the World Cup Host for 2018 and 2022.
What? This more of a what??!! than a What: subcategory. This post is very stream of consciousness if you can't already guess. But as I'm sure you know, Russia has been awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 World Cup. to the lay person, this doesn't make much sense. To the soccer insider, this doesn't make much sense. To the media, it is just plain odd.
The favorites a few months ago were UK for 2018 and USA for 2022. Then recently Russia and Qatar entered the fray. The day before the announcement I'm thinking Russia was a slight favorite and the USA was a slight favorite. Either way, the awarding to Qatar and Russia was perplexing.
Analysis: The decisions on their own make sense. There is no way FIFA would put the World Cup in the two most Western nations in the world, two English speaking countries as well. So it makes sense that UK and USA were not a pair. Russia is seen as an untapped market for soccer, a place where lots of people play, but the game hasn't really taken off economically as compared to Western Europe. It puts the Cup in a new place and "opens up" Eastern Europe to FIFA and the rest of the World. Qatar is in the Middle East. It has money. It is the most stable, safe place in the region. With this pick, FIFA is trying to be groundbreaking, trying to be proactive. I'm also thinking Qatar must have promised lots of profits.
But, together, they don't make sense. Why not have one in England or the US. This would be guaranteed to be a money maker and a successful World Cup with little or no money having to be spent before hand. Lots of things could go wrong in either place. Russia has vodka, the mob, cold weather. Qatar has sand, heat, oil. Both places will not be easy to get to or stay in. It will be an expensive trip for all.
So, as most, I can't make total sense of FIFA's World Cup host choices. Both selections have something to offer, something new, something political perhaps, but both also have huge potential flaws. 2018 and 2022 are a long time away, put I am still disappointed in those choices.
But then again, why not travel to Russia or Qatar. It would be quite fun.