Russia and Qatar Win World Cup Bids
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FIFA announced today that Russia has won the bid for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will host in 2022, The New York Times reports.
The announcement follows FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter's stated plans to bring the tournament to all parts of the globe, The New York Times says. The United States, who hosted once in 1994 with record attendance that has not been surpassed, lost its 2022 bid. Neither Russia nor Qatar have hosted before, and the 2022 Qatar World Cup will mark the first time in history the event has been held in the Middle East.
Qatar's bid committee hopes the World Cup will unify a conflicted region and improve the Arab imgage the world over to one “far away from clichés and closer to reality.”
“This involves a new mission, a new adventure,” said committee head Sheik Mohammed bin Hamad al-Thani. “Football has a date with history.”
American Major League Soccer officials had hoped to use the tournament to enhance visibility in American sports and gain fans in a country where soccer has never had the nearly religious following seen in other countries.