2018 Fifa World Cup

by : Chuck

There has been a lot of talk recently about the bidding for the 2018 Football World Cup. England, China and Australia have all put their hands up as the three most likely prospective hosts. As an Australian it would be fantastic for the world cup to come down under. I had a look at some of the factors which could determine who gets the honor of hosting in 11 years time.

There are several factors as to why we can win the right to host and also why we won?t. Some of the negatives which would adversely affect Australia's chances include the different time zone. We are the other side of the world from the most football developed countries in the world. Europe, North and South America as well as Africa would struggle with television timetables. Asia however is in a similar time zone and is also one of the target growth areas for FIFA. Australia doesn't have the stadiums and infrastructure in place to host a world cup. FIFA rules state that one city can have two stadiums and that all other host cities must have a stadium with a capacity of 40,000. This means that either Sydney or Melbourne would have two stadiums with Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra, Newcastle and the Gold Coast having one stadium each. As many of the stadiums in these cities are Aussie rules oval shaped then new stadiums would have to be built in many of these cities.

However some of the positive factors which could see us host the World Cup. We have an excellent track record when holding major events. Sydney 2000 and Melbourne 2006 have shown the world that we can host world class events and host them well. We are a sport loving nation and crowds will be at capacity because everyone will want to go. If Australia goes out early, then people will get behind another country. Another factor which could help is the fact that we are an English speaking country and communication is easier for overseas spectators.

England is the current favorite to host because of a number of reasons. They have established infrastructure and stadiums. They are hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and have the opportunity to show off their hosting abilities. England, although being the home of football is not well liked by the rest of Europe. They have the reputation of never contributing to the world of football by being unsuccessful in major competitions. Crowds in England might also be less likely to attend games after England has been knocked out.

China has a real chance at hosting the 2018 event. They are hosting the Olympic Games and will get a chance to show off their event management. As I said earlier FIFA is trying to target Asia as a key growth area and have China host in 2018 would be a major boost to the sport in that region. Problems with the Chinese bid may include the pollution problems that they have over there as well as their poor human rights record.

It is a tough one to call but as much as I want Australia to host the 2018 World Cup I think England will get the gig. By 2018 it will have been 12 years since the world cup as been to Europe. Plus if it is held in Australia it will be three successive World Cups in the southern hemisphere. But saying that it there is still a long way to go.