Despite former President Bill Clinton advocating for the World Cup to once again be played on American soil, the decision was made today that we will not host the largest sporting event in the world.  Well at-least not for 16 years...  FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) announced today that Russia is to host the World Cup in 2018 and Qatar was to receive the honors in 2022.

Qatar!?  I had to look it up on Google maps myself.  Qatar is a small middle-eastern country in the Persian Gulf.  It is a peninsula that juts off of Saudi Arabia out into the Persian Gulf.  This is a first for a middle-eastern country, as stated by NYDailyNews.com:

soccer’s governing body awarded sport’s most important event to Qatar - a first for the Arab nation, as well as the Middle Eastern region in general.

NYDailyNews.com also goes on to say this in a separate article:

The U.S. lost its 2022 World Cup bid on Thursday to a tiny, over-heated desert nation with no particular soccer history or infrastructure.

I don't exactly agree with that 2nd statement, however I don't know much about soccer or Qatar.  I do know that the middle east has a very large soccer following as a whole, so it is good to see that FIFA finally recognized this and granted the cup to a middle-eastern nation.  (even though it would have been cool to have in the U.S.)

The United States last hosted in the World Cup in 1994 and was played in 9 cities across the country.  The final game of the tourney was held at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  I learned of some interesting fact from Wikipedia while researching some info for this blog.  Here is what I learned from a Wikipedia Article on the 1994 FIFA World Cup:

Average attendance was nearly 69,000, which broke records that had stood since the 1950 World Cup, because of the bigger capacities of the American stadiums compared to those of Europe andLatin America. The total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams (and from 52 to 64 matches) in the 1998 World Cup.

This is kinda cool seeing as though the view about the United States and soccer is that the two do not coincide AT ALL.  But it turns out, I guess they do.  So in conclusion congrats to the two countries that won their bids, and better luck in 2026 for the U.S. I hope!