The decision of FIFA Executive Committee (Exco) to appoint Russia and Qatar as hosts of 2018 and 2022 World Cups was met with much outrage from England and the United States, who accused the football association of being “corrupt and oil-greedy”. However, the controversial nature of World Cup host selection has been present throughout its famous (and, at times, truly infamous) history. Here is a list of all FIFA World Cup hosts, and their electoral process.
1930 – Uruguay
Bids: Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Uruguay, Spain, Netherlands
The decision: a series of withdrawals led to the election of Uruguay, the 1928 Olympic champions. As a result, only four European nations decided to participate in the competition.
1934 – Italy
Bids: Italy, Sweden
The decision: Sweden withdrew before the vote took place, allowing Italy to host.
1938 – France
Bids: Argentina, France, Germany
The decision: the first World Cup Host Selection with an actual vote. France won with 19 votes, while Argentina and Germany received 4 and 0, respectively. The decision caused an outrage in South America, where it was believed that the venue would alternate between the two continents. Instead, it was the second World Cup in a row to be played in Europe. Argentina and Uruguay boycotted the tournament.
1950 – Brazil
Bids: Brazil, Germany (bid taken away after WW2)
The decision: Brazil and Germany were the bids for 1942 World Cup, but the competition was cancelled for 8 years because of the outbreak of World War II. As a result, Germany’s bid was taken away and Brazil got to host. Also, starting with 1950 World Cup, FIFA Congress decided to alternate continents in hosting.
1954 – Switzerland
The decision: Switzerland was given the World Cup hosting privileges unopposed, as the competition kept losing international interest.
1958 – Sweden
The decision: once again, the host nation was elected unopposed. It must also be noted that FIFA broke its “alternating continents” rule during the 1958 World Cup.
1962 – Chile
Bids: Argentina, West Germany, Chile
The decision: With popularity of World Cup rising once more, voting was required to decide the host. West Germany withdrew to follow the “alternating continents” rule, and Chile beat Argentina, 32-11.
1966 – England
Bids: West Germany, England, Spain
The decision: Spain withdrew prior to the vote, and the World Cup went to the Motherland of Football, as England beat West Germany, 34 votes to 27.
1970 – Mexico
Bids: Argentina, Mexico
The decision: in one of the least controversial World Cup hosting elections in FIFA’s history, Mexico fairly earned the right to host by getting 56 votes out of available 86.
1972 – West Germany, 1978 – Argentina, 1982 – Spain
Bids: 1974 – West Germany, Spain; 1978 – Argentina, Mexico; 1982 – West Germany, Spain
The decision(s): In an odd set of circumstances, the FIFA Congress decided to award the World Cup 12 years in advance. West Germany and Spain, facing each other for 1972 and 1982 World Cups, decided to give one another a hosting job. Spain withdrew in 1974 and West Germany withdrew in 1982, to host the 1982 and 1974 World Cups respectively. Mexico withdrew as well, giving Argentina a chance to host their first World Cup.
1986 – Mexico (Originally Colombia)
Bids: Colombia, United States, Canada, Mexico
The decision: Colombia was originally the unopposed bid for the 1986 World Cup and won its right to host, but with less than four years left until the vent, the nation withdrew from the tournament due to financial problems. In another voting, Mexico earned the rights for the second time. Also, this was the first time that United States have put in a bid for a World Cup.
1990 – Italy
Bids: England, Italy, Greece, Soviet Union
The decision: England and Greece withdrew before the vote, and Italy earned 11 votes to USSR’s 5 to host the World Cup for the second time.
1994 – United States
Bids: Brazil, United States, Morocco
The decision: This was the first World Cup hosted in North America. Despite having 3 nations bidding, it took only one round of voting to determine the winner. USA won its hosting rights by getting a little over a half of all FIFA Exco votes.
1998 – France
Bids: France, Morocco, Switzerland
The decision: Only one vote was required, as France topped the 7 combined votes from Morocco and Switzerland with 12.
2002 – South Korea/Japan
Bids: South Korea, Japan, Mexico
The decision: The 2002 FIFA World Cup was hosted in Asia for the first time. Initially, South Korea and Japan were competitors in the bidding process, but just before the vote they agreed with FIFA co-host the event. As a result South Korea and Japan won their hosting duties by a controversial acclamation, an oral vote without a ballot.
2006 – Germany
Bids: Brazil, Germany, South Africa, England, Morocco
The decision: This was one of the most controversial hosting selections in FIFA’s history. It took three round to decide the winner, with Germany winning over South Africa by one vote, 12-11. However, one of FIFA Exco members, New Zealand’s Charlie Dempsey, which could have tied the voting at 12-12,, was abstained from voting at the last minute. He argued that the pressure from all sides as well as “an attempt to bribe” him had become too much, and he did not vote.
2010 – South Africa
Bids: Egypt, Libya/Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa
The decision: in the first bidding process strictly designated for African nations, South Africa defeated Morocco to host, 14-10. Egypt received no votes and the Libya/Tunisia joint bid was DQ-ed.
2014 – Brazil
The decision: FIFA continued its continental rotation procedure, by marking it open for South American countries. Brazil made the first unopposed bid since 1986, as the committee confirmed its hosting rights by a unanimous decision.
Sources: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_hosts, http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/russia2018/media/newsid=1344971/index.html