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Russia, Qatar to Host 2018 and 2022 World Cup
In a twist that caught many by surprise, Russia and Qatar, emerged as winners in the bid to host the FIFA World Cup events for 2018 and 2022 respectively.
Sepp Blatter, president of the football governing body, gave the announcement in Zurich, Switzerland. The announcement of the two countries, which would be hosting the world event for the first time, resulted in tumultuous applause and jubilation from the committees that represented the two countries.
The atmosphere in the two countries was also lit up in celebration, even as eager citizens gathered around screens to hear the announcement live as it was announced by Blatter in Zurich. But for countries like Spain, the US, England, Korea, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Australia it was a bid that ended up in the dustbin. There citizens who had been hoping to start popping champaigne in celebration, found themselves having to cope with defeat.
For Igor Shuvalov, deputy prime minister of Russia, it was very sweet victory, having had to contend with strong bidders like England and the US. "You entrusted us with FIFA World Cup for 2018, and I just can promise, we all can promise you ill never regret. Let us make history together," he said, in an understandably jubilant mood, as he held the World Cup given to him by Blatter.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, harped on the theme of the country's bidding committee - "ready to inspire". He promised that Russia would do everything possible to stage a good World Cup event.
In same vein, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani who headed the bid of Qatar, was in an ecstatic mood. "Thank you for believing in change, thank you for believing in expanding the game, thank you for giving Qatar a chance, and we will not let you down. You will be proud of us, you will be proud of the Middle East and I promise you this," he said, enthusiastically.
Twenty-two members of the executive committee of football's ruling body, FIFA, cast votes to decide the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup events. South Africa, which hosted the 2010 World Cup, made history as the first time the events was hosted in Africa. The 2014 World Cup will be staged in Brazil.
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