I drug my ass out of bed to head down to F.X. McRory's for the "official" event this morning for the FIFA W.C. '10 &'22 host announcements. The crowd was a mix of supporters, fans, downtown business types killing time before work, media people, and Sounders employees. The announcements were met with the usual emotions I'm sure most of you who weren't there had.
there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
-- World Cup games in Seattle were never the slam dunk many of us assumed it would be. It was never a guarantee the USA would win the bid, and it was never a guarantee that if we did Seattle would be a host city.
-- This decision making process for FIFA is a political one, which means logic is not the primary motivating factor. It is more likely driven my emotional and financial factors, and when it comes to "emotion" these people are not fans or supporters, in the sense that we are, and are thus not driven by the same emotional factors.
While I hate to be cynical about this, I could see this coming. While many saw Russia as a shock choice, absent of many other factors it makes sense in terms of the "prove yourself" theorem FIFA has seemingly adopted after many believed South Africa could never pull it off. This holds true for Qatar as well.
I'm tempted to believe that the "fan experience" in Qatar will be, ummm, "less than desirable" but I'm not entirely sure this is something FIFA spent too much time considering.
At the end of the day, what many people will point to is the financial factors. Qatar threw up a lot of shiny stuff that surely lured FIFA types; their sheer willingness to spend gobs of money was simply too much for these people to resist. Similarly, Russia is essentially a plutarchy, and one only need to keep in mind folks like Roman Abramovich if left wondering how they could possibly have won.
I was asked by more than one person this morning how I felt, and I can honestly say I'm not surprised. Like I said I could see this coming, and this is another example of how sometimes it helps to be a cynic and/or pessimist.