Football in Russia

By Kelly Wakefield

Within the last hour, (Thursday afternoon)journalists up and down the country have been updating newspaper’s / website’s breaking news headlines and tv and radio broadcasters have been reporting back on England’s failed attempt to host the 2018 FIFA football World Cup.  Missing out to Russia, David Beckham (this wasn’t just an excuse to put a photo of him on this article) and the prime minister, David Cameron will have to return back to the UK from Zurich after presenting England’s final presentation this morning.  Also in the running for the 2018 bid were joint bids from Spain and Portugal and the Netherlands and Belgium, Qatar were succesful in winning the bid for 2022.

England 2018 bid adviser Sir Keith Mills told the BBC that” you have to understand that Fifa’s view of a host city is different to our own. Their message was today they want World Cups to go to developing countries, none of the mature countries in the world are being selected.”  This failed attempt to get the bid follows in the shadow of a BBC Panorama documentary that aired earlier this week accusing accuing three Fifa executive committee members of accepting “corrupt” payments.  The feeling this week in the press has been that the timing of the programme would hinder England’s chances of being successful.

However, in light of rumours that FIFA will find developing countries to have more success than developed countries it seems that this may not have been the case.  The ‘legacy’ aspect of the bids seems to have overruled any technical applications, see van Dam (2000) for discussion on how the football ground can become a landmark as well as having a function within the landscape.  With the success of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup tournament, it would be difficult to not look forward to seeing how the Russians will approach this challenge.

van Dam, F (2000) ‘Refurbishment, redevlopment or relocation? The changing form and location of football stadiums in the Netherlands’. Area, 32, 2, p133-143.


BBC ‘England lose out to Russia in 2018 world cup vote’ 2nd December 2010

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