ZURICH (AP) — FIFA sent the World Cup into uncharted territory Thursday, handing the 2018 edition to Russia and going to Qatar in 2022.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond with reaction to America not being selected
Russia’s selection came despite the no-show of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, but his clout still had an impact on FIFA’s 22 voters as it won over England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands.
Qatar brings the World Cup to the smallest host ever but one which has unparalleled financial clout to stage the world’s biggest single-sport event. It overcame objections about holding the games in desert heat and asked FIFA to take a “bold gamble.”
“We go to new lands,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter said.
The United States and Australia had been tipped as favorites alongside Qatar for 2022. Japan and South Korea were also in the running.
After three days of high anxiety when England sent Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham for intense lobbying and the United States counted on the aura of former President Bill Clinton, none were a match for the novelty promised by Qatar and Russia.
“Thank you for believing in change,” said Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
Qatar will stage a World Cup in and around Doha in a desert summer but promises state-of-the-art technology to cool fans and players alike.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.