Are USA about to replace Qatar as 2022 World Cup hosts?
Earlier today the ongoing saga involving Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup bid took a new twist, sky sports announced that seven serving FIFA officials have been arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges.
FIFA were quick to point out that Sepp Blatter was not involved in an effort to divert attention away from the current President who is seeking re-election.
However they did confirm that high ranking officials, including FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, Eugenio Figueredo from Uruguay have been arrested and two former FIFA representatives indicted on corruption charges in connected to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies involving up to $150m.
Understandably European Football Federations have asked that the forthcoming FIFA presidential elections be put on hold while investigations continue, but a FIFA spokesperson has insisted the vote will go ahead as planned.
It also appears that some of the money laundering charges date as far back as the early 1990’s and involve members of the 2018 and 2022 Word Cup voting committee back in 2010, which has led to speculation of that Qatar may now lose the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.
USA 3/1 to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup
As news of the high-profile arrests within FIFA emerged, it didn’t take the bookies long to realise the opportunity for them and punters to cash in, leading them to re-open their market on where the 2022 tournament will be held.
Whilst Qatar remain the 1/6 favourites to continue as planned, the USA (3/1) and Australia (8/1) appear to be the two most likely nations to take over the tournament in the event that the investigations and the FIFA meltdown worsens.
Despite narrowly missing out in the original vote, England are the 25/1 sixth favourites to host the event for a second time.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “News of the FIFA arrests has brought the issue of the 2022 World Cup back into the spotlight.
“Nothing looks certain anymore and markets that we thought were done and dusted are suddenly open once again.”
High ranking Football Federation officials had called for an investigation in to the voting last year following allegations of bribery for favourable quotes, but the subsequent report upheld the original decision for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup
Ladbrokes Betting – Who will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
South Korea 25/1