[WORLD CUP 2022] Qatar, a country with a population of less than 2 million, beat out the USA for the right to host the 2022 World Cup and will bring the World
Cup to the Middle East for the first time.
Round 1: Qatar 11, South Korea 4, USA 3, Japan 3, Australia.
Round 2: Qatar 10, USA 5, South Korea 5, Japan 2.
Round 3: Qatar 11, USA 6, South Korea 5.
Round 4; Qatar 14 , USA 8.
Sepp Blatter made the announcement Thursday from
the Messe Zurich in Switzerland to a worldwide viewing audience.
A year ago, the United States was seen as the favorite to win the 2022 World Cup, one of two tournaments up for grabs in a bid process marred by scandal, but Qatar pulled ahead and could not be headed off.
The next World Cup the USA is eligible to bid for will be the 2026 finals. European and Asian countries will be ineligible to enter the race, so the USA would an an early heavy favorite if it chose to bid.
Also bidding for the 2022 tournament were Australia, South Korea and Japan.
Despite concerns about the heat, Qatar's "high risk" bid had gained solid support to take the lead into the final days of the campaign.
Qatar 2022 concluded with an excellent presentation to the FIFA executive committee on Wednesday that featured Sheikha Mozah, wife of the emir.
Qatar presented elaborate plans to air-condition everything from the stadiums to training centers and fan zones.
It positioned itself as "just four hours flight from two billion people."
The Qatar 2022 campaign raised eyebrows with huge payments to current and former players and coaches to promote the bid.
It had a marketing budget of more than $157 million in addition to a sports development program run by the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence with what was described as an "unlimited" budget.
Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam used his position as the president of the Asian Football Confederation president to wield his political clout within the executive committee.
Qatar presented the strongest legacy bid in a field that featured three former World Cup hosts.