Alternate Football History – Football Comes Home

With the World Cup taking place this summer, it’s probably time to look back at the near miss that was the bidding process in November of 2010.

The outcome of that process was that Russia and Qatar would host the 2018 and 2022 iterations of the tournament, respectively. This led to certain accusations of “vote buying” and corruption at FIFA, an investigation that would uncover years of corruption within world footballs governing body. The English FA had put together a bid for the 2018 World Cup, but failed to get past the first round of voting. What if England had won the bid and hosted the 2018 World Cup?

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The bid itself included a plan to improve several stadiums across the country, with clubs such as Nottingham Forest, Plymouth and Bristol City all having planned new stadiums. This would have led to those clubs being home to stadiums that could hold 45,000+ fans and the infrastructure to go with that size of crowd. That move could have proven extremely difficult for those clubs, with demand potentially not meeting supply and the cost to maintain those stadiums threatening the finances of clubs that were in the lower three tiers of England’s football leagues.

Holding a World Cup may have proven a blessing for the England national team, with hosting proven to have a positive effect on how a team performs. Hosting would have meant that the country did not participate in qualifying for the tournament. This would have led to the national team playing friendlies, either side of the Confederations Cup that would take place in 2017, that would not allow the team to face teams in a true competitive format, as is the case with qualifying.

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Since 2010, English Football hasn’t gone from strength to strength. A plan was put in place for the country to be ready to win the 2022 edition of the World Cup. In the time since 2010, the national team has reached a solitary quarter final and been knocked out in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup. It could be argued that the World Cup would improve those performances, but it could als be argued that what happened would have happened all the same and that actually the national team would not have performed any better.

How do you think the World Cup would work if it took place in England? Let me know in the forums!

Featured Image created by: Charlie Pumfrey

Images within the article courtesy of Getty Images

 

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