RUSSIA TO HOST FIFA WORLD CUP 2018

FIFA has awarded Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup finals after the country’s bid got the most votes from 22 executive members of FIFA in a secret ballot held in Zurich.

Spain-Portugal, Holland-Belgium and England were the three other bids in the fray. The selection process involved multiple rounds of voting, with the country receiving the fewest votes eliminated in each round.

As many as 15 bids were received from countries aspiring to host the 2018 event, and Russia won an outright majority of 13 votes, in the second round of voting, after garnering nine in the first. The Spain-Portugal joint bid received seven votes.

The tournament in Russia will span 13 cities, all in the country’s European region, in a bid to facilitate easier access. In its bid Russia promised to scrap visas during the 2018 tournament and this is seen as a major factor in the vote in the country’s favour.

The ballot in Zurich also selected the host of the 2022 tournament, which was awarded to Qatar. The oil-rich Middle-Eastern country won against rival bids from the United States, Japan and South Korea, in the final round of voting. world cup which had also bid for the 2022 World Cup was ousted in the first round of voting.

Mexico which had earlier bid to host the 2022 tournament withdrew its bid citing financial reasons.

Neither Russia nor Qatar has hosted the event previously. The awarding of the tournaments to these two countries has brought an end to a controversial voting process with allegations of corruption that led to the suspension of two executive committee members.