FIFA released some big news for soccer fans today — the locations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup! Russia will be the first Eastern European country to host the highly-anticipated sporting event (that occurs every four years) in 2018. As for 2022, the U.S. dreams to host were knocked down, as one of the world’s smallest countries, Qatar, was awarded the coveted title.
FIFA awarded the hosting rights for 2022 to Qatar — a nation in the Middle East smaller than Connecticut — today after the voting procedures took place in Zurich, Switzerland.
The small nation beat out the U.S. who has not hosted the competition since 1994. Australia, Japan and South Korea were other countries with hopeful expectations.
Qatar earned 14 votes — 6 more than the U.S.
“There’s no way around it: I am disappointed,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said, via FIFA.com. “Millions of U.S. soccer fans worked hard to bring the World Cup to our country. To come up short is very difficult to take.”
Another sad nation right now, England, lost the hosting rights to Russia for 2018.
Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium also were beat out by the Eastern European nation.
Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.
This past summer the event was hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, and brought out a huge celebrity crowd including Shakira, John Legend, the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys among others.