As many around the world sat back and contemplated World Cups in Russia and Qatar, and others shook their heads in disbelief that their bids had been unsuccessful, Sir Keith Mills the architect of Britain’s successful Olympic bid and a member of the England 2018 advisory board probably made the statement that could have the FIFA Executive Committee thinking.
Following England’s elimination, when many believed that this was the time for Football to return ‘home’ he was quoted as saying, “I think that FIFA have decided strategically that they want the World Cup to go to places that have never hosted it before.”
“We’ve had South Africa and Brazil and we’re going to have Russia and Qatar. Perhaps it will be China next, but it certainly isn’t going to come to England for a long time.”
With this obvious decision to take the World Cup to new frontiers, it augers well for Australia, but it could mean that the traditional football nations of Europe and South America will not hand over the vast amounts of money required to lodge a bid when the hosting rights come around again. This could cost FIFA financially. There is a strong possibility that UEFA, who have in the past ten years had a very fractious relationship with FIFA, may well make a stand on this issue.
It could also have an impact much sooner, with Sepp Blatter up for re-election in the New Year, the reason many believe that the two bids were decided at the same time for the first time ever.
With the Vice President Korea’s Chung Mong-Joon’s position said to be tenuous, expect to see UEFA produce a challenger, possibly Michel Platini to try and wrest back some of the power that they believe is their right, despite the expansion of the game in the past twenty five years. However although he stated he would not challenge for the Presidency until 2015, many believe that now he has delivered the World Cup to Qatar, Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed Bin Hammam may well actually run against Blatter. If he does some believe that there would be an irony should he claim the post from the current incumbent.
There is no doubt that the decisions made in Zurich will have an impact in some way down the track, most predicting that they will become apparent in May 2011 at the FIFA Presidential elections.