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Rusia 2018 and Qatar 2022

LONDON (AP) -The warnings were there in black and white.

The operational risk of staging the World Cup in Russia: medium.

The operational risk of holding the tournament in Qatar: high.

All the other bids were listed as low risk.

Yet, FIFA overlooked those findings in its own technical report and picked Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) to host football’s showcase championship.

Surprise? Not really. Potential risks – based on the amount of work the successful bidders would have to undertake to prepare for the competition – were never the key factor in this race, just as they weren’t in recent Olympic host-city votes.

This was a decision based on politics, voting alliances, commercial interests, backroom lobbying and the trend among international sports bodies to take their events to new territories.

“If you don’t take risks, you don’t drink champagne,” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, quoting a Russian saying.

Just as the IOC is taking the Winter Olympics to Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and the Summer Games to Rio de Janeiro in 2016, FIFA is breaking new ground by sending the World Cup to Eastern Europe and the Middle East for the first time. South Africa held the first World Cup in Africa this year.

“There’s not much doubt that the world is moving east,” British IOC executive board member Craig Reedie said Friday.

There were technical risks and concerns, too, about Sochi, Rio and South Africa. But South Africa turned out to be a big success, and the International Olympic Committee is confident that all the necessary construction work will be completed for the 2014 and 2016 Games.

“Most of these decisions are not made by the deciders on a technical basis,” senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said. “A lot of it is geopolitical. The last two Olympic decisions have been done the same way.”

Russia was chosen by FIFA on Thursday over bids from England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands. Qatar beat out the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

While Russia and Qatar will need to spend billions on new stadiums and infrastructure, both countries enjoy huge oil and gas wealth and have vast resources to prepare for tournaments that are eight and 12 years away.

“It’s as much about market growth potential as it is about anything else,” said Simon Chadwick, a professor of sports business at Coventry University in England. “Russia and Qatar are the two countries that commercially and politically played it best.”

In its evaluation report issued last month, FIFA rated Qatar as the only “high risk” option of the 2018 and 2022 bids based on a current assessment of stadiums, transportation and accommodation. Russia was the only one rated as “medium risk.”

The report also highlighted concerns that Qatar’s desert heat posed a health risk to players and officials, and that Russia would rely heavily on air transport to move teams and fans around the country.

Putin said Thursday that Russia will spend about $10 billion to build stadiums in 13 host cities, stretching from the enclave of Kaliningrad in the west to Yekaterinburg in the east.

“You can take my word for it, it will be up to the highest standards. New modern facilities will be built on time and to perfection,” Putin said.

Ruled by the Al Thani family without any opposition, there is little doubt that Qatar will make good on its commitment to spend $42.9 billion on infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. All those stadiums, Qatar says, will have a state-of-the art cooling system that will keep temperatures at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 F).

That most eye-catching result of Thursday’s vote in Zurich was England’s first-round elimination in the 2018 contest. Despite high-profile appearances by Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham and a reputation as the home of football, England garnered just two votes from the 22-man FIFA committee – including one from its own delegate.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s culture and sports secretary, called it a “slap in the face” and questioned FIFA’s methods.

“If the strategy is to take the game to new parts of the world, what is the point of a technical evaluation at all?” Hunt wrote in his blog. “Throughout my whole time in Zurich, any discussion about the respective merits of bids was eclipsed by speculation about who was doing deals with who.”

But even though FIFA’s technical report flagged up concerns about Russia and Qatar, it didn’t matter in the long run because the countries were already deemed perfectly capable of staging the World Cup.

“The FIFA executive committee members would have looked at the technical report and said, ‘OK, if there is more of a risk in Russia than there is for example in England, is it worth taking that risk?”’ Reedie said. “Clearly on balance, enough people believed that to be the case.”

Chadwick, the Coventry University professor, said the decisions made the most commercial and political sense for FIFA.

“It doesn’t matter about your technical bid,” he said. “It doesn’t actually matter about things like risk factors. What’s much more important is the political lobbying and the political posturing. Along side of that is the need to present a very, very strong commercial case.”

Qatar’s victory will also offer further hope of the Middle East hosting the Olympics for the first time.

Doha, which hosted the 2006 Asian Games, mounted a bid for the 2016 Olympics but failed to make the list of finalists because of IOC concerns over the summer heat. Dubai has been weighing a possible 2020 Olympic bid.

The Olympics pose a much bigger logistical challenge. While the World Cup is a single-sport event featuring 64 games spread across a country over one month, the Olympics amounts to 26 world championships in one city over 17 days.

Reedie said the Olympics will “inevitably” go to the Middle East one day, but stressed that potential bidders should be allowed to propose holding the games outside the hottest period.

“I don’t see anything wrong with the Middle East wanting to bid for the games and saying, ‘We will do it at the end of October, beginning of November. If you tell us it has to be the end of July and beginning of August, you tie our hands behind our backs,”’ Reedie said.

World Cup 2014 LOGO

The official logo of the the FIFA World Cup 2014 tournament in Brazil

Argentina

Argentinian Girl

Beautiful Argentinian girl support her national football team at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
Too sad we will probably not see this face at the tournament anymore, after Argentina was defeated 4:0 by Germany. The result is a shame, but the girl is to be proud with…

Argentinian Girls

Without football but with beautiful women.
Argentina 0-4 Germany. For the next… a little more humility! lol

Argentina

Argentina

Argentina

Reality sexy world cup fans!!

Argentina

Go go Argentina!

 

SexyWorldCupFans.com

Sexy World Cup Fans! The most beautiful women in the world. 2010 World Cup. Sudafrica. soccer fanatics. sexy fans. The World Cup is more than just a celebration of international soccer. It’s a celebration of scantily clad hot women draped in the flags of their respective countries. So to prepare you for endless round the clock soccer action in South Africa, here’s a look at some of the sexiest fans of every single World Cup nation. From Algeria and Argentina to Uruguay and the United States.

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