The 2022 World Cup election will be on Thursday this week. Even though it might seem that the US bid has a great chance to get the greatest tournament on earth after 28 years, chances are it will be a tough fight.
We will analyze all the 2022 bids, and how they will play out:
Pros: Oceania has never hosted a World Cup. They hosted the Olympics in 2000 and it was fantastic. Just like in South Africa, the weather would be more winter-ish, so the game would not be affected by the summer temperatures.
Cons: It would be very far away from...well, everyone else. The time difference would have games being shown at weird times of the day for Europe and North America, huge viewing regions.
Pros: The technology and infrastructure are there.
Cons: They already hosted along with South Korea in 2002; it would be too soon. Also, predictions say China will get the 2026 edition, which would turn Japan in 2022 into a weird and controversial selection.
Pros: Infrastructure is there, since they were hosts in 2002. Possibility of the World Cup easing relations between them and North Korea.
Cons: Same reasons as Japan, plus the instability of the North.
Pros: No World Cup has ever been hosted in the Middle East. The tycoons of the country plan to throw in money to pay for infrastructure, amazing stadiums, hotels and even pay to build a time machine, go back in time and bring back Pele from the 60s if they have to.
Cons: Who has in mind spending a month watching soccer in a country with over 100 degree days and where there is no thing else to do other than go from the hotel to the stadium? They have more of a chance than Japan or South Korea, but still a slim one. However, they have lots of money and political power to ask for a few favors (and votes).
Pros: The 1994 World Cup was amazingly hosted, created the birth of Major League Soccer and creating a soccer nation (only during World Cups though). A second hosting could mean the explosion of a soccer superpower.
Cons: The country is too big, and the temperatures in some of the host cities could be very, very hot. Also, the MLS has lost TV ratings in the past year. Key cities like Chicago are not in the host cities list.
My prediction: South Korea and Japan will go out first. It will be a matter of Australia, Qatar and the US. I think it will be close, and that we will see an Australia-USA final vote. It will be interesting to see what happens there, with the nations less than fond of Uncle Sam voting for anybody but him. We'll see.