Qatar still has the rights to host the 2022 World Cup but that isn’t stopping nations around the world lobbying their cause as alternative options.
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After Sepp Blatter announced his plans to resign as FIFA’s president on Wednesday following a damaging FBI investigation into alleged corruption at FIFA and bribery saw 14 individuals arrested and indicted in Switzerland last week, a separate investigation by the Swiss authorities is also underway into the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Reports claim the FBI are now also looking into alleged corruption during the bidding process of the World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively.
Speaking in the House of Commons in Westminster the UK’s sports secretary, John Whittingdale, has issued a rallying call that England is “ready” to host the 2022 World Cup if need be:
“If FIFA came forward and asked us to consider hosting it, we have the facilities in this country and of course we did mount a very impressive, if unsuccessful, bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
“In terms of the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, that is obviously something which we are watching, but at the moment that decision stands.
“If it were decided to change that, I think as the chairman of the English FA Greg Dyke observed, if Russia hosts the World Cup in 2018 it does seem very unlikely that another European country would host it in 2022.”
Whittingdale is correct. England could probably host a World Cup at a weeks notice. So could a handful of other nations around the world, including Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia and the USA.
FIFA’s rules are stacked up against England though as the World Cup has to take place on another continent after Russia 2018, paving the way for the United States of America, Australia and others. But if Russia was to be convicted of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup… You never know.
There are a lot of if’s and but’s here but after not hosting a World Cup since 1966, the home of soccer is eager to see the biggest tournament of all return to home soil.