World Cup Host Field Starting to Clear Up
As was expected by most pundits, the World Cup will take place in Europe in 2018 and in either the US, Australia or Asia in 2022. It appears, based on reports from all camps, that the last remaining holdouts with bids in for both Cups are going to withdraw their secondary bids (US from 2018, England from 2022).
The picture was a little muddier a year ago with FIFA allowing the countries from Europe and abroad to bid for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Because of this, there was a chance, however unlikely, that the 2018 cup could have gone to a country like the US or Australia and that Europe would have had to wait until 2022 to get another World Cup. This was deemed as unlikely by most experts however, as that would have meant that the World Cup would have been away from Europe for 16 years, something that FIFA would not want to do.
So, after the upcoming withdrawals from the US and England the World Cup bidding picture looks like this:
2018 Bid (Europe):
Spain/Portugal (Joint Bid)
Netherlands/Belgium (Joint Bid)
2022 Bid (North America/Asia)