Russia, Qatar win bids to host Fifa World Cup 2018, 2022
Russia won the right to put on the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will stage the 2022 finals, both first-time hosts, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.
Qatar has shrugged off fears of searing summer heat to become the first Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim country to be awarded the right to stage football's World Cup.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday congratulated Qatari leadership, government and people on winning the Fifa World Cup 2022 bid during a telephone call to Qatari Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Shaikh Khalifa stressed that this achievement, which is considered an Arab achievement, is a source of pride for all. He affirmed Qatar's ability to host this global event thanks to its modern infrastructure and huge capabilities.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also congratulated Qatar during a phone call to Shaikh Hamad.
Shaikh Mohammad expressed his happiness on Qatar winning the bid. He described it as a win for all Arab countries, sports, and the Middle East in general.
The young bid team succesfully swayed Fifa's ageing grandees with promises of a glitzy, compact and carbon-neutral World Cup that will be held in solar-powered stadiums where temperatures would be maintained at a comfortable 27 degrees Celsius with the help of novel cooling technology.
"We are offering Fifa a historic opportunity to expand the frontiers of the World Cup," Shaikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Thani said in his final pitch to the 22 strong executive committee of world football's governing body on Wednesday.
Qatar 2022 bid chief executive Hassan Al Thawadi promised to harness huge growth in the region's football-inspired young population, as well as its lucrative television viewing opportunities in a time zone in between east and west.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who visited Qatar in April, had also spoken in favour of a first ever World Cup in the region.
"The Arabic world deserves a World Cup. They have 22 countries and have not had any opportunity to organise the tournament," he said