A friend and I have been discussing Russia 2018 online. He was wondering why I haven’t put Russia in the spotlight given questions over the bidding. Here was my response:
I don’t see Russia being a major issue for FIFA. Russia, bidding propriety aside, would appear to be a worthy host of the World Cup as it has a football heritage (ranked 27th), is a large and diverse country and has a football friendly climate. I think military (Ukraine in particular) and human rights issues could be an ongoing problem for FIFA.
Qatar is in the desert, has fewer nationals than Fresno in California or Canberra in Australia, is smaller than Connecticut or a sixth of the size of Tasmania, plans to stage it during the northern hemisphere winter (problematic for everyone), treats imported labour working on stadia as slaves, and is ranked 99th in the world (and trending down) mainly by buying foreign nationals and making them citizens. That said, they did beat the Socceroos 1-0 in a friendly Asian Cup warm up match last year 🙂 (which Australia went on to win I might add).
I think they will stick with Russia but dump Qatar. This could open a door for the USA for 2022 as the country has unused stadia in June and July as NFL is in its off season.