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Just how did the vote go?
by Paul Kennedy, December 10th, 2010 2:16AM

TAGS:  fifa, france, germany, world cup 2022


[WORLD CUP 2022] Like a U.S. presidential race, the race for the 2022 World Cup was a fascinating exercise in predicting the outcome -- without the polling. After Qatar's 14-8 victory in the final round of voting, the 2022 race had the added intrigue of trying to figure out who voted for whom. Only a few members of the FIFA executive committee have made public their secret vote, so here's our best guess of the eight who voted for the USA -- and the 14 who didn't ...

-- The most interesting question concerns who did FIFA President Sepp Blatter support. It is widely believed that he had concerns with the technical merits of the Qatari bid -- how it would handle the heat -- and voted for the USA in the final round. That seems to have been the belief of U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, who commented after the results were announced that the difference was "three swing votes," meaning that a 14-8 Qatari victory would have been an 11-11 tie, broken by Blatter's tiebreaking vote in the USA's favor.

-- Qatar did begin with a huge advantage, having as many as nine sure votes going into the first round -- and all the votes in Africa and Asia in the final round. Qatar's support within South America -- garnered as part of its alliance with 2018 bidder Spain -- was well known, but its support within Europe -- five of the eight UEFA members -- was decisive. Reflecting the big-world politics involved in the race, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's pressure on fellow Frenchman, UEFA president Michel Platini, to vote for Qatar's 2022 bid was well-known. Sarkozy worked hard to get France Euro 2016 and is believed to desire Qatar's favor for a number of major economic deals.

-- There has been much speculation about who were the eight who supported the USA. Seven U.S. supporters are pretty well known. The eighth is a mystery. The assumption has been that German Franz Beckenbauer, a star in the NASL, voted for the USA after supporting Australia in the first round, but Beckenbauer is now believed to have backed Qatar -- again under pressure from his government for economic motives. If Beckenbauer did not cast the eighth U.S. vote in the final round, it is believed to have come from Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz, the president of Conmebol, the South American confederation. Meeting with Leoz in Ecuador a week before the 2018 and 2022 votes, Blatter came out in support for Conmebol keeping 4.5 places (for nine entrants) in the 2014 World Cup, in addition to the one given host Brazil ...

The 2022 vote:
Round 1: Australia 1 vote, Japan 3 votes, South Korea 4 votes, Qatar 11 votes, USA 3 votes (Australia eliminated)
Round 2: Japan 2 votes, South Korea 5 votes, Qatar 10 votes and USA 5 votes (Japan eliminated)
Round 3: South Korea 5 votes, Qatar 11 votes, USA 6 votes (South Korea eliminated)
Round 4: Qatar 14 votes and USA 8 votes (Qatar obtained an absolute majority)

Round 4-our best guess ...
President (1)
Sepp Blatter (Switzerland) USA

Concacaf (3)
Jack Warner (Trinidad & Tobago) USA
Chuck Blazer (United States) USA
Rafael Salguero (Guatemala) USA

Europe (8)
Michel Platini (France) Qatar
Angel Maria Villar (Spain) Qatar
Geoff Thompson (England) USA
Michel D'Hooghe (Belgium) USA
Senes Erzik (Turkey) Qatar
Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus) Qatar
Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) Qatar
Vitaly Mutko (Russia) USA

South America (3)
Julio Grondona (Argentina) Qatar
Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil) Qatar
Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay) USA

Asia (4)
Chung Mong-joon (South Korea) Qatar
Mohamed Bin Hammam (Qatar) Qatar
Worawi Makudi (Thailand) Qatar
Junji Ogura (Japan) Qatar

Africa (3)
Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) Qatar
Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) Qatar
Hany Abo Rida (Egypt) Qatar

  1. David Smith
    commented on: December 10, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.
    If this is correct, how is it that we had NO votes from Africa? We just sent our national team to South Africa to play in the Mandela Cup. We have a black president who has roots in Kenya. We even had Morgan Freeman (aka Mandela) make a pitch at the bid. And say what you want about the Bush presidency, he did focus on Africa and its HIV/AIDS problem more than most of his predecessors. Jesus. Not one Africa vote?
  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: December 10, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.
    I am not sure why we put up with some of the stuff we do. The U.S has been treated like a pariah for the better part of thirty years or more, especially by the French. Beckenbauer should be ashamed. The U.S. should start flexing it's muscle in all matters when it comes to the economy of world soccer. No more tours of European clubs in the summer and no Mexican teams crossing the border for big gates in Texas and Southern California. Low ball all the english speaking rights for television and pedal our government influence where ever possible. It seems that no one respects you playing by the rules!
  1. Kenneth Barr
    commented on: December 11, 2010 at 2:19 a.m.
    Given Beckenbauer's comments after the vote, particularly his push to make the 2022 Cup a winter tournament, I'm not buying that he voted for Qatar. We have done pretty well by FIFA over the years, winning the 1994 Cup without a first class league, in fact, the NASL went bust a few years before. Then we land both the 1999 and 2003 Womens WC due to the SARS outbreak in China. No country has hosted two WCs as soon as we would have except for Mexico, who stepped in for Columbia in 1986 after hosting in 1970. France was 60 years apart, Italy 54 and Brazil will be 64. It is, after all, the World Cup!
  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: December 13, 2010 at 7:46 p.m.
    Yeah, "January tournament" sounded like Der Kaiser's roundabout way of saying "WTH did you vote for Qatar?"

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