Saturday, August 22, 2009

Already Planning for 2018 and 2022

We're almost 300 days away from the start of the 2010 World Cup.

But plenty of thought already being given to the World Cups nine and 13 years hence.

We already have lists of bidders for each event. The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

In the U.S., things are moving along to the point that its bid committee has whittled down to 27 the list of potential match sites for games to be played 9/13 years from now.

Go to the bottom of this link to see the 27 cities/stadiums still in contention.

Among them: The Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, Calif., where the 1994 World Cup final was held. As well as Chicago's Soldier Field, which hosted the opening match of the same World Cup.

Here are the 11 cities who didn't make the cut: Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Tex.

If it seems strange that we're already talking about 2022, it's because FIFA has announced it will award both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December of next year. So everyone needs to have I's dotted and T's crossed 8/12 years ahead of time.

A bit curious. And it's why we're hearing talk about the third and fourth World Cups down the line ... before South Africa 2010 even begins.

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