Here are some well-respected measures of political, press, and economic freedom of the recent and scheduled World Cup hosts, as well as the other competitors for 2018 and 2022. The measures I'm using are the Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders, Freedom in the World by Freedom House, the Democracy Index from the Economist, and the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation. They use different scales, so I've color coded them in a general green-is-good, red-is-bad spectrum (with apologies to the colorblind). In multi-nation bids, I averaged them.
|World Cup Hosts|
In both cases FIFA selected what was, by far, the most autocratic and oppressive nation available.