Tiny Qatar upsets USA (Update)

[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.

The vote:
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.

38 comments about "Tiny Qatar upsets USA (Update)".
  1. Brian Herbert, December 2, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.

    Follow the money, follow the bribes, follow the stupidity. Qatar? Is there a clearer sign that the most important thing our country needs to work on is ENERGY POLICY, not "bush tax cuts" or "wikileaks embarrassments" or whatever? The British sting operation had this one pegged from the beginning, both the 2018 and 2022 decisions were heavily influenced by under the table deals, greed, and little thought to the overall experience for most fans.

  2. Joseph Simons, December 2, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.

    FIFA is a joke!!! First Brazil(world cup and olimpics) ,no infrastructure at all, know Qatar they want the money now in their pockets they won't be around 2022,it's all about the brides they don't carrer about the fans!!!

  3. Mick Donnelly, December 2, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.

    this is terribly dissapointing. from a political perspective (which one must conclude has a mitigating affect like it or not,)one must only conclude that the total parisen manner in which our govt is currently manageing its affairs has and continues to have a major negative impact on the perception of the US.
    we can expect this to continue untill such time as we the people demand better from our elected officials.
    i am ashamed of them, very dissapointed in the end result but not in the least bit suprised.

  4. Andrew Bilinski, December 2, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.

    I don't think any blame is to be laid at the feet of US officials, governmental or US Soccer. The points raised by B.Herbert above speak most eloquently. Money talked and the FIFA exec. comm. obviously listened with great attention. The real question to be raised now is why should FIFA get a pass on this? Sounds like it is time to throw the rascals out and find a more transparent way to forward the development of the beautiful game.

  5. Marc Silverstein, December 2, 2010 at 11:43 a.m.

    Sorry Paul, but it wasn't an "upset" by any means of the imagination, and it's kinda funny how we lost to our own oil money.

  6. Melissa Marshall, December 2, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.

    i agree, the usa is not to blame, it is fifa.....now the question is......how many americans will head to those games? it will be interesting to see how everything plays out with qatar.

  7. Chelsea Guy, December 2, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.

    Mick you’re joking right? Blame US officials? It actually shows we must have a level of ethics since we lost!
    Both of these decisions are aligned with dirty money and corruption. FIFA should be embarrassed if they actually cared what the rest of the world thinks.

    These decisions went to those that offered the most money. Awful message being sent globally.

  8. Jim Murphy, December 2, 2010 at 12:14 p.m.

    FIFA blew it. China wanted to host in 2026. And that's a place FIFA shd REALLY be going after. Now, thanks to Qatar, they won't get a whiff of the WC until the middle of the century. And how is it they lost fewer than two dozen people decide this? Hell, the IOC, which is probably even more corrupt than FIFA, has something like 100+ people vote on the Olympic sites. Think about - as few as 12 people could be the ones responsible for this. And last, how is it that Europe can't bid on 2026? It'll be eight years after Russia. Doesn't Europe end up with every other World Cup on average?

  9. Aldo Baietti, December 2, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

    great strategic move for global warming!
    What are these guys thinking?

  10. Brian Herbert, December 2, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.

    I concur with the others who said our U.S. bid group is not to blame, we showed our commitment and resources to host a wonderful player and fan experience, which should have been the number one criteria. I actually feel quite good about our ethics seeing how the selections played out.

  11. Walt Pericciuoli, December 2, 2010 at 12:17 p.m.

    Maybe Qatar can pay everyone's way over as well. Think Americans relish the idea of travelng to Russa or Qatar?
    How safe will they feel?
    Did FIFA forget USA fans purchased the most tickets for the 2010 WC outside of the host nation South Africa?

  12. Mark Grody, December 2, 2010 at 12:32 p.m.

    It will cost me less to go there than to fly all over the USA to see games & there may be more available tickets because the royal families can only go to so many games & worried Americans won't buy tickets either.

    Also, when we win it there, it will be very cool!

  13. Mark Grody, December 2, 2010 at 12:34 p.m.

    Also, forgot to say then can change the rules so China can still get the next one.

  14. David Huff, December 2, 2010 at 12:59 p.m.

    Get ready for the "Bikini Revolution" as scantily clad men and women from all around the globe converge on Qatar to attend the World's game, swimwear and shorts will be the uniform of the day given the temperature averages found there during the months of June and July. The Brasilian women in the stands will definitely cause a stir. Qatar may end up with exactly what they asked for, social upheavals on a fascinating scale.

  15. Jack ONeill, December 2, 2010 at 1:12 p.m.

    It is amazing that our nation's new and improved image of "change" and "yes we can" did not seal the deal. No matter how many national leaders we bow to or how oftern we efface ourself to the world, forums like FIFA and the UN will continue to be haters. At 38yrs old I am glad that the US had the chance to host the greatest global event in my lifetime. I am just sorry that as a struggling college kid I did not have the means to enjoy it first hand. Good luck in the corrupt black hole of Russia and the Las Vegas of the Middle East Qatar. Those who choose to travel to either would have been safer in back alleys of South Africa.

  16. Normand Conquest, December 2, 2010 at 1:27 p.m.

    Looks like there will be a building boom in Qatar. There current stadiums will need to be replaced to host the even and all of the new air conditioned training grounds. And the power will be generated by clean burning natural gas. This was all about getting a WC in the middle east, I think that the games will run smoothly and the games well attended. The USA may still have the most fans in attendance. What if Israel can some how get in? They will likely be put in a group with Spain, Italy, and Russia to make it near impossible.

  17. Normand Conquest, December 2, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.

    ^^They will likely be put in a qualifying group with Spain, Italy, and Russia to make it near impossible.

  18. Terence Shumaker, December 2, 2010 at 2:17 p.m.

    Given the makeup and history of FIFA, the gift to Qatar should come as no surprise. Unfortunately the prime directive of money & power, topped with an ample portion of greed, holds sway across the globe. In addition, it is unconscionable that a proposal that involves such a phenomenal amount of waste and pollution could be given the green light. New stadiums that can be dismantled and moved elsewhere? Massive air conditioning installations to cool stadiums in 130 degree heat? Where else could such a preposterous scheme be advanced than an oil nation with money, and petroleum, to burn? FIFA has its tiny collective head inserted firmly up its anal cavity.

  19. James Fredrickson, December 2, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.

    At first I was pissed off. But I truly believe in "soccer diplomacy" and it will give the mid east a chance to not be viewed as a bunch of radical terrorists. I personally will not consider traveling there, but hey, it is what it is.

  20. Gak Foodsource, December 2, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.

    La Paz, Bolivia in 2026? Two years after FIFA decries football at high altitudes due to the health concerns of players, it allocates the World Cup in the middle of the desert on the promise of air-conditioned stadiums. You apparently cannot make this stuff up.

  21. Brent Neilsen, December 2, 2010 at 3:42 p.m.

    So help me understand, how do they proper to cool an outdoor stadium from a temperature of 130 deg. to something tolerable not only for fans but players. Is this going to be the first world cup played on brown fields. The amount of energy that will be required for cooling, and water for irrigation is a horrifying thought. So much for being green.

  22. David Huff, December 2, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

    As much as I believe that Qatar is an inappropriate location given the climate, environmental impacts caused and pur logistics I am not upset that it would go to some other country given the current state of the USSF. If the USSF/MLS do not want to put the best possible product on field (i.e. USMNT) in order to compete then why should they be chosen to host the WC? As much as Qatar's WC bid involved $$ so too did the US bid based on expectations stemming from the large $$$ amount that was made in 1994 (highest attendance, richest WC ever?). USSF/MLS's emphasis on WC 2022 was on the $$ windfall opportunities that would come their way with TV, ticketing and licensing revenues based on anticipated record-breaking attendance. However, until the USSF decides to make a real effort in fielding a more competitive USMNT a realistic priority with appropriate devotion of resources (and telling MLS that they will need to subordinate their interests by cooperating with USMNT callups for Copa America, Gold Cup etc.) then I can really care less if we ever host it again. I think most of us would prefer to avoid seeing the US as host country and then struggle to get out of their group and then fall flat in a doable path to the final or semis like with what happened with Team Bradley in WC 2010. Getting back to Qatar, which exists in the shadow of its next door ultra-conservative neighbor Saudi Arabia, I am wondering how they are going to deal with the social issues raised? For example, in Saudi, women are not allowed to attend soccer matches, or to drive,seating in restaurants, mosques, theaters, swimming pools, other public venues etc. is segregated by gender. Violation of some of these rules can be punishable by death (for example: unmarried couples alone together can be charged with adultery). Moreover, women cannot wear "revealing" clothes which even involve an exposed ankle so what happens when beautiful foreign women show up in shorts, short sleeves, face paint, bikinis etc. such as at other previous WCs held around the world? Especially where these same women will be sitting in the stands shoulder to shoulder with men from Saudi, Qatar etc.? Will Shakira be welcome there? Many of us in North America, Latin America, Europe etc. take for granted such basic rights as being able to gather together in public places, unmarried couples walking together or going to nightclubs, driving, wearing casual clothes etc. that certainly is NOT the culture in Saudi but how does it play out in Qatar which is also a somewhat conservative Muslim culture (although Qatar does provide certain exceptions such as being the home of arguably the Arab world's most free and balanced TV station - Al Jazeera)? Will FIFA allow the host country to place onerous social restrictions on WC visitors? I am very curious as to how the social issues play out on this, the potential for significant clashes is huge.

  23. Gak Foodsource, December 2, 2010 at 5:31 p.m.

    I agree David. I too would rather see the US compete in 2022 than host in 2022. And at what point does FIFA staging the World Cup in Qatar become irresponsible? I think staging the World Cup, an event FIFA knows can bring as many as 400,000 people, in a desert with the promise of air-conditioned stadiums is welcoming too many people into a heat they cannot tolerate. Medically speaking, there will be heat-related incidents for spectators that FIFA could have reasonably avoided by exercising some prudence and pragmatism in its voting process. The same must be said of putting the tournament in a country that will not tolerate its values ( English hooligans getting drunk, South American women wearing bikinis). I am all for using soccer as a tool for breaking down walls, but did Qatar agree to become a liberal democracy in order to host the tournament? If they did, I wasn't aware.

  24. Kevin Leahy, December 2, 2010 at 5:53 p.m.

    I wish I knew who voted for what. The U.S. could only get three votes in the first go round? What the hell was Europe thinking? What was Beckenbauer thinking? Why does Japan & Korea garner any votes? Weren't we just there eight years ago? I am a tried and true soccer junkie, but I hope if I am still alive in 2022, that I have the stones to ignore it completely. What a bunch of blowhards!

  25. Andrew Bilinski, December 2, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.

    Gads!!! I love the commentaries. Lot of great insights.

  26. David Huff, December 2, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.

    This is a bad decision for the environment, for women and for a substantial portion of the world's people who do not live under Wahhabi religious restrictions on their social lives. We need to give serious consideration to leaving FIFA, where the executives seem more concerned with lining their pockets from influence-peddling, to form a new football organization that is built on a foundation of transparency (starting with finances involved). Let's get 32 countries together and hold our own competition rather than blessing FIFA's fraud.

  27. Timothy Smith, December 2, 2010 at 10:54 p.m.

    People have very short memories. The last time FIFA staged a World Cup games in cities with very hot summers it went off without a hitch. That was in 1994 in the United States, namely Dallas, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

    And did the U.S. bid include anything about building nine new stadiums and then donating them to poor countries after the tournament?

  28. Carlos Thys, December 3, 2010 at 2:12 a.m.

    David Huff...please...Although I agree wtih the second half of your post at 5:14 pm (above), I am a football/soccer fan first and foremost. (And I think you'd probably see it the same way.) Yes, I care if the US men's team does well -- but only if it deserves it. I care FAR MORE about the game and the overall quality of the tournaments, men's and women's, ALL ages. Example: I don't want to see Mexico get the wind knocked out of them by an illegal Carlos Tevez goal. More important: A player I do not at all like, Diego Maradonna, once correctly called the fat FIFA men in suits "Murderers!" during the World Cup 1986 in Mexico. Rightly so due to the deadly combination for players of altitude, heat, and kick-off times at 1 p.m. to placate the European television audiences. The USA would have made a much better host. The Dallas, Houston, Arizona, and Indianapolis DOME stadiums would have carried the day. Of this, I am sure. Too many in this Forum and elswhere were ashamed and pieved at the 2 p.m. kickoffs in Orlando.

    I want a sporting spectacle that allows 90 minutes of running athleticism at the highest levels. We got some of that in South Africa 2010 because of the excellent climate in June/July there. (More of the same!)

    I don't care really if the USA hosts and bows out honorably playing its utmost in the first round.

    What I care about 1) best possible conditions for the athletes to compete, 2) a safe, very friendly environment for fans from around the world.

    I personally have experienced 5 World Cups starting with the Mexico 1986 one where it was patently unsafe in many of the host cities and even at the stadia. (ex. thievery from the para-military police when frisking ticket-holders. We were stolen from.)

    The World Cup hosted by Italy in 1990 was disorganized in oh so many ways.

    Only Germany 2006 fulfilled the necessary criteria for teams and fans best.

    And I know that the USA 2022 organizers learned from all hosts of the past 24 years. A USA 2022 or now 2026 bid needs to only focus on climate controlled venues.

    America's and Americans' hospitaliy is unparalleled in the world.

    That makes for a superb World Cup.

    Just where the USA men's national team places is of much less importance.

  29. Carlos Thys, December 3, 2010 at 2:21 a.m.

    For clarification: "Too many in this Forum and elsewhere were ashamed and pieved at the 2 p.m. kickoffs in Orlando, Florida in World Cup 1994. RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., too. I trust that our 2022 bid committee learned from those grave mistakes. (plus viewers live per Internet around the globe now almost make kickoff times immaterial.) If we "crack the nut" for climate controlled stadia (this means "indoors") there is nothing that can beat a USA bid to host the World Cup -- even in a June and July summer in the USA. Personally: I think we should include Vancouver and Toronto as host cities, thus making it even harder for the USA haters (and they will ALWAYS be there -- that has nothing to do with politics or who is in the White House) to vote no. We partner well with Canada on so many things. This would be great, too.

  30. Carlos Thys, December 3, 2010 at 2:42 a.m.

    I do agree with Mr. David Huff on the quite-possible "Bikini Revolution 2022." Even in more 'moderate' (compared to Saudi Arabia) Arab places like Kuwait, they would be flabbergasted at the carryings-on and flamboyance, noises, drumbeats, colors, garb, etc. of Brasilian, Colombian, Korean, German, English, Dutch, Danish, Aussie, and even Japanese fans.

    I am told that Qatar relaxed these standards when they hosted the Asian Games in early 2008....can anyone here confirm this? (example: Women's beach volleyball competitors in Qatar were dressed like they now routinely look when playing at international events like the Summer Olympic Games.)

  31. James Beaumont, December 3, 2010 at 7:33 a.m.

    The UK and the US both should be grateful that they lost the world cup. I am South African and during the whole WC farce one thing became clear: The entire event is just a shameless carpetbagging opportunity for Fifa's fat-cats to rape a country and rake in money. They tie everything up in such tight contracts for their buddies that local entrepreneurs cannot even get a look in. The event affects everything in a negative way; chaos reigns for years as building ensues and Fifa's over-the-top, bullying marketing kicks in; prices are outrageous and the exploitation and avarice are open and shocking. Besides anything else, "budgets" always grow huger than original estimates, as more Fifa and local soccer pigs elbow each other at the trough. Stadium building costs and so on always rocket. This has the effect of leaving the host nation's taxpayers with massive bills that we will be paying well into the future, and stadiums that become white elephants and require costly maintenance - all so that a bunch of greedy people can make personal fortunes in the name of soccer. The sooner the whole World Cup scam comes to an end, the better. Soccer, like all other sports, will always be a farce since it went super-professional globally. When a profit motive steps in, sporting ethics go out the window. Sport is not sport any more; it's just a money-making racket that sucks the stupid fans dry. It should be returned to "amateur" status to save it, so that the venal management strata can be gotten rid of.
    That's my take and I'm sticking to it!! lol

  32. charles davenport, December 3, 2010 at 10 a.m.

    There won't be any shots of the Brazilian fans or possibly any other fans, on TV to be broadcast throughout the arab world. Too Bad! Maybe the rest of the world can have a separate feed.

  33. John Paz, December 3, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.

    You guys are too much. Really. I would have loved nothing more than to have the Cup at home once again, but just because a place is uncomfortable you think it should be ignored by the international community? It's all Earth to me guys. Once I got over the disappointment of not hosting the Cup, I decided I was going to stop being negative about the event, effective immediately. In all honesty, I love to travel, and these tournaments will give me the opportunity to see a part of the world I might not otherwise had reason to visit. Honestly, the bulk of you guys are acting like children once they found out they're not going to Disney World for vacation; you'll do and say anything to spew additional negativity and are determined to pout the entire time. Get over it guys. Will it be uncomfortable in Qatar? Probably. If that's a problem, don't go. Period. Me? I'll be there, wearing whatever the locals wear who live there 365 days a year, sneaking in a flask if need be, and taking pictures with the Qatari locals. In Russia it's a wrap, no worries there. Just have to keep my thoughts on Putin to myself. Only two things are guaranteed about these tournaments: there will be great soccer played among many nations, and parties will follow. You don't like it? TiVo it. Or you can keep whining. Babies. :-P

  34. John Paz, December 3, 2010 at 10:09 a.m.

    Just as a follow up: below is the address (can't remember if HTML is allowed on SA) to an article in the Daily Beast which has the most positive outlook of this I've read so far. It's realistic though as it calls out many of the painfully obvious faults with the two host nations picked. But, even as it recognizes the inherent problems with these places, it also smartly recognizes the potential benefits to the entire international community. Think outside the box for one second guys, pull your head from beneath the sand, and move past the disappointment you're feeling. Glass may be half empty, but it's still got water in guys...

    Oh, and I shortened the link:

    From The Daily Beast:
    Russia and Qatar will host the soccer tournament in 2018 and 2022, respectively, FIFA announced. Tunku Varadarajan on why the choices are transformative, electrifying, and could weaken al Qaeda.


  35. Ron R, December 3, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.

    FIFA needs to be overhauled and the current bums need to be ousted for a new set of bums... Let's see, instead of rewarding passion for football, tolerance of women, other races, religions and life choices, FIFA awards our most important event for the world's football fans to two countries known most for intolerance, racism and absolute absence of morality. Those fans that live through the WC in Brazil, the most dangerous country in the world these days, will not be able welcome in Russia or Qatar becuase they happen to be of a different color or religion. What has happened to the beautiful game?

  36. David Huff, December 3, 2010 at 1:13 p.m.

    @ Carlos we'll have to agree to disagree as to whether USMNT performance or hosting the WC is more important. For me, I would just like to see us have a shot at winning one in my lifetime by going deeply into the later stages of the WC, to do that USSF is going to have to reform its efforts to create quality players and ateam, the "Team Bradley" approach is an example of what will not get it done. I'm also curious about the beach volleyball tournament you mentioned that took place in Qatar, if anyone can share how that experience was handled it would be good to know. @ John, its not "whining" nor a case of being "babies" to observe that Qatar presents considerable challenges based on the extreme climate conditions and then the significant social conflict impacts that I have briefly mentioned above. I hope you are able to sneak in a large enough "flask" because most of the "parties will follow" will feature Martinelli apple juice for champagne unless you are at a 5-star hotel like Mr. Blatter and the rest of his corrupt FIFA cronies. And just because you are willing to put up with the crap there, why should others have to deal with such onerous conditions, especially women? Remember this Cup never belongs to the host nation, rather it belongs to the world with all of its creative and expressive fanbase. Brasilian and Swedish chicks doing the Samba and wearing face/body paint while drums are going is just one of the things that makes the World's party a 'go'. Have you ever been to Saudi to see how women are treated? They are denied basic human rights of freedom of association, movement, education, etc. and even the privileged royals have to live behind compound walls in gilded cages because they are women. Its significant to note that the Gulf countries (Qatar, UAE, Saudi, etc.)are leading destinations for human trafficking in women and children from Asia, Europe, Latin America and yes even North America. Maybe you don't care because you are such a 'macho' man? I'm sorry but the host country will need to be prepared to undergo significant social changes or this Cup will be an unmitigated disaster. Let the "Bikini Revolution" begin . . .

  37. Carlos Thys, December 4, 2010 at 3:56 a.m.

    Mr. James Beaumont, thank you. A truly superb post. Best lines I have read here (to include those of the paid Soccer America staff) in a long-long time. Please, more of the same insights into what a World Cup land and its host cities/venues appear like/undergo in the months and years post-World Cup. This never gets addressed. SA staff: Please, could we have more in-depth coverage like what Mr. Beaumont shares?

  38. Carlos Thys, December 4, 2010 at 4:51 a.m.

    Mr. David Huff: Once again, a very fine post at 1:13 p.m. yesterday. I appreciate what you are trying to convey to Mr. John Paz. Please let me add that one does not have to travel in the Arabian countries to know the very significant cultural differences/flashpoints that make everyday, routine encounters in the street unpleasant. I have personally witnessed an Arab man beating what appeared to be his wife (in front of their two children and many passersby) in France, a man accosting his wife in violent verbal action in a busy touristed area in Germany, and the same in Britain on too frequent occasions. Basel, Switzerland as well. It is as unpleasant as it is unnecessary. One's heart goes out to those so openly injured. One often cringed when just viewing the antics and normalcy of Turkish neighbors. I cannot imagine how it must then be in Cairo, Damascus, Abu Dhabi, and throughout the Saudi kingdom. In Doha? Isn't Kuwait the only Arab state in the region now permitting women the right to vote? Shouldn't such basic social norms be criteria for world bodies like FIFA? Is FIFA going to use the "proximity" of a World Cup in 2022 in Qatar to highlight the absurdity of women having to dress as men to attempt entry to a live soccer match in Tehran? (at great peril of real punishment) Thank you for also addressing human trafficking in women, David. It is rampant in the Middle East. What I have personally learned: Filipino women lured to Gulf states for what appear to be legitimate short-term labor opportunities regularly must endure significant mistreatment which we call abuse, both physical and sexual. What I have learned, John, is that when these are the 'conditions' for the indigenous people, I as a tourist, businessman, foreigner, outsider also just don't rate. One isn't going to get a square deal or a genuine handshake from a person engaging in this kind of evil behavior on a routine basis. Do you think that I would, in good conscience, be bringing young children, teens, players from my youth team, or a wife willingly to such a freetime, optional event? No, I am lobbying FIFA and USSF to get the event moved to a land that honors its own citizenry and will welcome -- in harmony -- all visitors. (Australia would have done this mighty well)

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