Wednesday, October 31, 2007
2018: The Candidates
Well, it's been to Asia, it's going to Africa (for the first time ever) and South America (for the first time in 36 years), and that's that.
World Soccer's editor Gavin Hamilton has provided a brief rundown of the 2018 contenders in his most recent editorial. We get a generous mention:
Australia will mount a serious bid. They would pin their hopes on the FIFA executive having an evangelical zeal to take the World Cup to new territories, just as they did with the 2002 and 2010 decisions.
Also in Australia's favour would be the success of the 2000 Olympics, our excellent infrastructure, and the fact that we have a few stadia that already meet the minimum FIFA requirements. One factor decidedly not in our favour, however, is that matches in an Australian World Cup would not fall in prime time for European TV, which is still a significant factor in the decision-making process (considering the revenue it brings in). Yet, by 2018, will Asian TV revenue be even more important?
Ever since the war, every second World Cup has been held in Europe, and the TV scheduling surely has plenty to do with this (along with the fact that Europe, alone of the FIFA confederations, has plenty of countries capable of providing both the stadia and the infrastructure required).
This might just be enough to tip the scales in favour of England, despite the opposition of Warner and his ilk. The other main contender, I would think, will be China, particularly if the Beijing Olympics go off without too many hitches. The U.S. or Mexico? Perhaps, but a tournament held in the stifling conditions experienced in 1986 and 1994 after a long European season might not be exactly ideal.
An interesting possibility is canvassed at the end of Hamilton's piece, one which I've mentioned previously:
One scenario that cannot be ruled out at this stage is that of Brazil losing the right to host the 2014 World Cup if they fail to meet FIFA’s timetable for building the necessary stadiums and infrastructure. If that were to happen, both England and the United States would be well-placed to step in as replacement hosts.
So the battle for 2018 could be just about 2014 as 2018 (sic).
England in 2014...and Australia in 2018 instead?
It's quite possible.
And then, a world cup in Europe, it will happen if theres not too many nations wanting to host, like Russia, Spain, Benelux nations and England.
And then theres Libya and Morocco who seem to have an interest, possibly getting the Gulf Region backing, thus dangering Australia again.
Whoever wants it most, will have to start bending over backwards to everyone around the world.
But Australia's chances, well, i feel that some Asian will think, YOUR NOT ASIA, so get behind China.