The World's Game

Rating the 2022 Bids

As delegations from nations far and wide presented their World Cup presentations to FIFA in Zurich Wednesday, we were treated to many different ideas on how to put on a the Cup. Here's a quick look at how I rate the 2022 bids and who I think FIFA will pick:

Qatar - I give this Middle East nation an A on presentation alone. While you don't imagine scarve wearing, beer-swilling football fans in this desert nation, you will see an untapped market of wealth and people. With over half of the estimated population in 2022 under the age of 25, bringing the World Cup could do wonders to opening the eyes and minds of young Middle Eastern people to the world and the world to the Middle East. Who knows, FIFA could play a pivotal role in shaping the world in more ways than just football. I personally like this bid due to the fact that they tear down piece by piece, each stadium and rebuild the stadiums in developing countries. I don't care who you are. That's cool right there. Also, the stadium designs will be magnificent.

United States - Obviously, I want the Cup here, however, this is not a lock bid like others have stated this week. While the U.S. market is massive, and the stadiums are already built, a couple of things could sway FIFA's thoughts to another country.

- Even though we have a great interstate system, there is little chance that 50 states will agree to a new federal tax to build high speed rail in order to accommodate international fans. Newly elected Ohio governor John Kasich said that the Ohio rail project is "dead". So I can just imagine what other states will say.

- Stadiums, yes we have some, but they are just plain cookie cutters. Except for the stadium that houses the Dallas Cowboys, they all are relatively the same - no roof, blue seats and no character. Is this the grand stadiums FIFA wants to hold their prestigious Cup? Maybe, but I think the $$$ will be more of a motivating factor.

- Timezone - Placing the games here will eliminate a huge portion of the Asian market, which by 2022 could be a bigger market than all of North America.

Okay....breathe. I'm just trying to point out some negatives to the bid. Now the positives are great in number and with the support of the people and the jobs, this country will greatly benefit from hosting the Cup, which is why I'm pulling for the bid on Thursday. I can understand if it goes to a bid like Qatar though.

Japan - Although the idea of 400 3-D screens at stadia all over the world is nice, it's just not enough to bring the Cup back 20 years from 2002, the last time Japan hosted.

South Korea - See Japan, and add a little Kim Jong Il....I'm staying away, so is FIFA.

Australia - The Aussies will get to host the Cup soon, but I don't see it in 2022. Perhaps 2026 or 2030 depending on where 2022 lands, Australia could become a host nation. But I see the bid going to a highly developed country like Russia or England in 2018, so it's difficult seeing another country like Australia getting it in 2022, especially if her Majesty's hosting the Cup four years earlier.

My predictions for this bid is that we all will win, I can see positives from every bid, except maybe South Korea. If England get the 2018 Cup, I'd bet on Qatar or the U.S. simply because of the intrigue and the proven track record. I'm excited and I hope you are too. GO GO GO USA!

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