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Did Sport-Mad Russians And Gift-Giving Qataris Win It?

GW School of Business expert predicts that the Fifa world cup will come back to the USA and to England... some day


Thu Dec 2 2010

Many English and American hearts broke today when Fifa handed the right to host the 2018 and 2022 Soccer World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. But an expert at the George Washington School of Business (GWSB) thinks it’s only a matter of time before England and the United States win the right to host the world’s biggest sporting event.

“Obviously England should try again,” says Dr.Lisa Delpy Neirotti. “England has such a history with the World Cup, so they (the England bidding team) are going to have to come back sooner rather than later.”

The English bidding team lost to Russia in its bid for the 2018 World Cup, even though influential figures such as David Beckham, Prince William and David Cameron were involved in the campaign.

As for her own country losing at the same day, Neirotti, from GWSB’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, says she is “disappointed” that the right to host the 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar.

“The 1994 World Cup really helped increase the interest in soccer [in the United States]. We have many more people in the United States than Qatar does. I think it’s too bad that the World Cup was not given to a country with a larger population.”

But Neirotti is confident that the United States will finally earn the right to host the World Cup for the second time: “America has such a large market, a viable market, they (the Fifa’s attention and recognition) will come to us.

“I think 2026 could be a possibility for us [to bid again].”

As to the reasons for Qatar’s victory, she adds: “Qatar have made lots of friends during their 2022 World Cup bid, and friendship goes a long way. I am not saying they used bribery, but they were very hospitable to many people.”

And what is Neirotti’s take on England’s losing bid?

“Russia does have a large population, and they have never hosted World Cup before,” she says. “I do see how FIFA can make that decision to expand football to Eastern European countries.

“I think there is a rationale behind that [which is] people in Russia do love sports. I think FIFA already know that people in England are football fans, so I think they are looking to expand their market in Eastern Europe.”