Friday, December 3, 2010

Breaking down the World Cup voting

Blatter.The fall-out from yesterday's double-shock in Switzerland continues after FIFA selected Russia and Qatar as hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

England were humiliated with only two votes, one of which came from their own representative Geoff Thompson, and Spain/Portugal, the favourites, were left scratching their heads after Russia romped home 13-7 in the second round.

2022 provided a bigger shock as, despite its small size and searing heat,
Qatar beat the USA 14-8 in the fourth round of voting. Australia, once seen as the front-runner, crashed in flames with only one vote.

World Cup 2018
1st Round Russia 9, Spain/Port 7, Neth/Belgium 4, England 22nd Round Russia 13, Spain/Portugal 7, Neth/Belgium 2

World Cup 2022

1st round:
Qatar 11, South Korea 4, Japan 3, USA 3, Australia 1
2nd round: Qatar 10, South Korea 5, USA 5, Japan 2
3rd round: Qatar 11, USA 6, South Korea 5
4th round: Qatar 14, USA 8


The identities behind the 22 votes are kept anonymous by FIFA, who used blank ballots, but it appears clear that Russia won by picking up two of the Low Countries' supporters, plus Geoff Thompson and England's other supporter, believed to be Junji Ogura or Issa Hayatou. Spain/Portugal had seven key backers but could not move up from seven.

The 2022 decision went two more rounds because South Korea maintained a core vote of five and Japan two, four of whom eventually transferred to Qatar, who actually went down a vote between rounds one and two but maintained a comfortable lead over the USA throughout.

Qatar, Japan and the Netherlands/Belgium all saw their support reduce between particular rounds, proving certain FIFA delegates changed their minds during the process, while only Spain/Portugal had an unchanging block of votes.

Qatar finished with three and Russia with four more votes than they began with, but the USA showed the most improvement across the decision process, increasing its votes by five between the first and final round.

We may never know which delegate voted for which country, but the breakdown could have been thus:
2018 - 1st Round
Russia
- Mutko, Blatter, Warner, Blazer, Salguero, Beckenbauer, Anouma, Lefkaritis, Hayatou
Spain/Portugal - Villar Llona, Leoz, Grondona, Abo Rida, Bin Hammam, Makudi, Teixeira
Netherlands/Belgium -D'Hooghe, Chung, Erzik, Platini
England - Thompson, Ogura

2nd Round
Russia - Mutko, Blatter, Warner, Blazer, Salguero, Beckenbauer, Anouma, Lefkaritis, Hayatou, Ogura, Chung, Erzik, Platini
Spain/Portugal - Villar Llona, Leoz, Grondona, Abo Rida, Bin Hammam, Makudi, Teixeira
Netherlands/Belgium -D'Hooghe, Thompson

2022 - 1st Round
Qatar - Bin Hammam, Leoz, Grondona, Teixeira, Abo Rida, Makudi, Villar Llona, Platini, Hayatou, Anouma, Lefkaritis,
South Korea -Chung, D'Hooghe, Erzik, Blatter
Japan - Ogura, Thompson, Mutko
USA - Warner, Blazer, Salguero
Australia - Beckenbauer

2nd Round
Qatar - Bin Hammam, Leoz, Grondona, Abo Rida, Makudi, Villar Llona, Platini, Hayatou, Anouma, Lefkaritis,
South Korea -Chung, D'Hooghe, Erzik, Blatter, Texeira
USA
- Warner, Blazer, Salguero, Mutko, Beckenbauer
Japan - Ogura, Thompson

3rd Round
Qatar - Bin Hammam, Leoz, Grondona, Abo Rida, Makudi, Villar Llona, Platini, Hayatou, Anouma, Lefkaritis, Ogura
USA - Warner, Blazer, Salguero, Mutko, Beckenbauer, Thompson
South Korea -Chung, D'Hooghe, Erzik, Blatter, Texeira

4th Round

Qatar
- Bin Hammam, Leoz, Grondona, Abo Rida, Makudi, Villar Llona, Platini, Hayatou, Anouma, Lefkaritis, Ogura, Texeira, Chung, Erzik
USA - Warner, Blazer, Salguero, Mutko, Beckenbauer, Thompson, Blatter, D'Hooge

As for the motives for voting, that debate is only just beginning...

-Sean O'Conor

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