Russia and Qatar awarded 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups

The FIFA Executive Committee has chosen Russia to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, while the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ was awarded to Qatar. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced the result of the FIFA Executive Committee’s secret vote on Thursday 2 December 2010 in Zurich’s Messe.

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In lauding the victorious nations, the FIFA President also made a point of praising those who missed out. He said: “I have to say thanks to to the Executive Committee of FIFA because for 2018 and 2022 we go to new lands, because the FIFA World Cup has never been in eastern Europe or the Middle East. So, I’m a happy president when we speak of the development of football. 

“But I have to give big compliments to all the bidders for the big job they have done and the messages they have delivered. All have delivered the message that football is more than just a game. Football is not only about winning; it is also a school of life where you must learn to lose, and that is not easy.”

England, Netherlands and Belgium, Spain and Portugal, and Russia all submitted bids for the right to stage the 2018 finals. Both England and Spain are previous FIFA World Cup hosts, with the 1966 tournament on English soil ending in the Three Lions’ only world crown to date. The Iberians staged the 1982 edition of world football’s showpiece event, when the Trophy was won by Italy.

Igor Shuvalov, Russia‘s deputy prime minister, vowed that his country would justify the faith placed in them by the Executive Committee. He said: “You have entrusted us with the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and I can promise that you will never regret it. Let us make history together.”  

Five candidates were bidding to stage the 2022 edition of the world’s greatest sporting event. As well as eventual winners Qatar, Australia, Korea Republic, Japan and USA also submitted bids for the highly-sought after hosting rights. USA, Japan and Korea had all previously staged the FIFA World Cup finals, with Japan and Korea becoming the tournament’s first joint-hosts back in 2002. The 1994 finals took place in the US.

A clearly delighted Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani also expressed gratitude for the honour of hosting football’s greatest tournament, while insisting that Qatar‘s historic FIFA World Cup would meet all expectations.  “Thank you for believing in change, for expanding the game and for giving Qatar a chance,” he said. “You will be proud of us – and you will be proud of the Middle East. I promise you this

The final presentations and the announcement of the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was one of the biggest media events ever seen in Switzerland. Some 70 TV stations reported live from the official announcement at Zurich Exhibition Centre, where around 1,000 reporters from all over the world also covered the event.