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RB = Roger Blitz, the FT’s sports & leisure correspondent (in Zurich)
DD = Darren Dodd, an FT news editor
RB Fifa will sell this as votes for new frontiers, a la South Africa. The accusation of collusion is dampened by Russia’s victory. For England, going out in the first round only reinforces the argument that when it comes to football politics, England just does not get it.
Simon Gray in France asks: What time of year are they going to play the 2022 World Cup? In July it is about 50C in the shade in Qatar. Players will be dying, literally. Air-conditioned indoor stadiums? I suppose they can afford it.
Robert Orr in New York says not many tears were shed at the bar over the US losing out to Qatar in 2022. Pundits on ESPN, which was at least broadcasting the decision live, were more concerned about how to pronounce the Gulf state’s name. Cat-ar? Quat-ar? They quickly moved on to the more important matter of Lebron James’ return to Cleveland later this evening…
Michael Kavanagh is back to reading L’Equipe. The site says Russia won despite a “dangerous risk” around transport considering the huge distances between host cities. It predicts that Russian football, already turbocharged by petroroubles, will gain further prominence.
Mark Mulligan in Madrid says: There’s deep disappointment in Madrid, but television commentators are at least conceding that perhaps Spain – and more so Portugal – have bigger issues to deal with at the moment, a reference to the eurozone crisis.
Iberia’s bid was built around quality of football and transport infrastructure, love of the game across the two countries and their natural appeal as tourist destinations.
Also, of course, Spain felt that it deserved to host a World Cup after its fine performance and subsequent victory in this year’s tournament.
HM: And in all Sepp Blatter’s waffle before the announcement, note how he referred to China as the place where football was born. A 2026 bid from Beijing, anyone? Then again, Blatter did call England “the motherland”.
Henry Mance: So Batman – as WikiLeaks had him – will be flying to Zurich after all!
and the 2022 host is…..Qatar
2018 winner is Russia Read more >>