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FIFA World Cup hosts: Map


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Map of FIFA World Cup hosts
The celebration of early FIFA World Cups was awarded to countries at meetings of FIFA's congress. The choice of location was highly controversial, given the three week boat journey between South America and Europe, the two centres of strength in football at the time. The decision to hold the first cup in Uruguaymarker, for example, led to only four European nations competing. The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these, the 1938 FIFA World Cup in Francemarker was controversial, as the American countries had been led to understand that the World Cup would rotate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the tournament. After World War Two, to avoid any future boycotts or controversy, FIFA began a pattern of alternation between the Americas and Europe, which continued until the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The system evolved so that the host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Executive Committee. This is done under a single transferable vote system. The decision is currently made seven years in advance of the tournament.

Voting Results

1930 FIFA World Cup


Before the FIFA Congress could vote on the first-ever World Cup host, a series of withdrawals led to the election of Uruguay; The Netherlands and Hungary withdrew; this was followed by Sweden withdrawing in favour of Italy; then both Italy and Spain withdrew, in favour of the only remaining candidate Uruguay. The FIFA Congress met in Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker on May 18, 1929 to ratify the decision, and Uruguay was chosen without a vote.

  1. withdrew in favour of Uruguay
  2. withdrew in favour of Uruguay
  3. withdrew in favour of Italy

1934 FIFA World Cup


Sweden withdrew before the vote, allowing the only remaining candidate (Italy) to take the hosting job for the 1934 World Cup. The decision was ratified by the FIFA Congress in Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker and Zürichmarker, Switzerlandmarker on May 14, 1932. The Italian Football Federation accepted the hosting duties on October 9, 1932.


1938 FIFA World Cup


Without any nations withdrawing their bids before the vote, the FIFA Congress convened in Berlinmarker, Germanymarker on August 13, 1936 to decide the next host of the World Cup. Electing France took only one ballot, as France had more than half of the votes in the first round.

  1. , 19 votes
  2. , 4 votes
  3. , 0 votes

1942 FIFA World Cup


The outbreak of World War II canceled both the 1942 and 1946 World Cups; therefore, no vote was taken to determine a host.

1950 FIFA World Cup


Brazil had an official bid for the 1942 World Cup, but the Cup was canceled after the outbreak of World War II. The 1950 World Cup was originally scheduled for 1949, but the day after Brazil was selected by the FIFA Congress on July 26, 1946 in Luxembourg Citymarker, Luxembourgmarker, the World Cup was rescheduled for 1950.


1954 FIFA World Cup


The 1954 World Cup hosting duty was decided on July 26, 1946, the same day that Brazil was selected for the 1950 World Cup, in Luxembourg City. This World Cup was also (in addition to the 1950 FIFA World Cup) pushed back a year on July 27, 1946, changing the date from 1953 to 1954.


1958 FIFA World Cup


As in most of the earlier World Cup bidding, the World Cup bidding process went unopposed, and the FIFA Congress ratified the choice of Sweden (who had withdrawn their bid for the 1930 World Cup) as the host in Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker on June 23, 1950.


1962 FIFA World Cup


Despite West Germany withdrawing before the vote, which took place in Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker on June 10, 1956, there were still two remaining bids, which allowed for a vote by the FIFA Congress. There was only one round of voting, with Chile winning over Argentina.

  1. , 32 votes
  2. , 11 votes

1966 FIFA World Cup


Spain withdrew from the bidding prior to voting by the FIFA Congress, held in Romemarker, Italymarker on August 22, 1960. Again, there was only one round of voting, with England defeating Germany for the hosting position.

  1. , 34 votes
  2. , 27 votes

1970 FIFA World Cup


The FIFA Congress convened in Tokyomarker, Japanmarker on October 8, 1964. One round of voting saw Mexico win the hosting duties over Argentina.

  1. , 56 votes
  2. , 32 votes

1974, 1978, 1982 FIFA World Cups

1974 Bids:

1978 Bids:

1982 Bids:

In an odd set of circumstances, three hosts were chosen in Londonmarker, Englandmarker on July 6, 1966 by the FIFA Congress. Spain and Germany, both facing each other in the running for hosting duties for the 1974 and 1982 World Cups, agreed to give one another a hosting job. Germany withdrew from the 1982 bidding process while Spain withdrew from the 1974 bidding process, essentially guaranteeing each a hosting spot. Mexico, who had just won the 1970 hosting bid over Argentina just two years prior, agreed to withdraw and let Argentina take the hosting position.


  1. withdrew in exchange for 1982 hosting duties

  1. withdrew, as they had won hosting for World Cup 1970

  1. withdrew in exchange for 1974 hosting duties

1986 FIFA World Cup


Host voting, now handled by the FIFA Executive Committee (or Exco), met in Stockholm on June 9, 1974 and ratified the unopposed Colombian bid.


However, Colombia withdrew after they had already been selected to host the World Cup due to financial problems on November 5, 1982, just four years before the event was to start. A call for bids was sent out again, and FIFA collected the following interested nations:

In Zürich on May 20, 1983, Mexico won the bidding unanimously as voted by the Exco, for the first time in FIFA World Cup bidding history (except those nations who bid unopposed).

  1. , unanimous (unknown number of votes)
  2. (tie) , : 0 votes

1990 FIFA World Cup


England and Greece both withdrew before the vote, which was to be conducted by Exco in Zürich on May 19, 1984. Once again, only one round of voting was required, as Italy won more votes than the Soviet Union.

  1. , 11 votes
  2. , 5 votes

1994 FIFA World Cup


Despite having three nations bidding for host duties, voting only took one round. The vote was held in Zürich (for the third straight time) on July 4, 1988. The United States won the bid by receiving a little over half of the votes by the Exco members.

  1. , 10 votes
  2. , 7 votes
  3. , 2 votes

1998 FIFA World Cup


This vote was held in Zürich for the fourth straight time on July 1, 1992. Only one vote was required to have France assume the hosting job over Morocco and Switzerland.

  1. , 12 votes
  2. , ; combined 7 votes

2002 FIFA World Cup


On May 31, 1996, the hosting selection meeting was held in Zürich for the fifth straight time. A joint bid formulated between Japan and South Korea, and the bid was "voted by acclamation," an oral vote without ballots. The first joint bid of the World Cup was approved, edging out the single bid by Mexico.

  1. / (joint bid, voted by acclamation)


The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the first World Cup held outside the three traditional continents, when the tournament was co-hosted in Asia for the first time by South Koreamarker and Japanmarker. Initially, the two Asian countries were competitors in the bidding process. But just before the vote, they agreed with FIFA to co-host the event. However, the rivalry and distance between them led to organizational and logistical problems. FIFA has said co-hosting is not likely to happen again, and in 2004 officially stated that its statutes did not allow co-hosting bids.

2006 FIFA World Cup


On July 7, 2000, the host selection meeting was held for the sixth straight time in Zürich. Brazil withdrew its bid three days before the vote, and the field was narrowed to four. This was the first selection in which more than one vote was required. Three votes were eventually needed. Germany was at least tied for first in each of the three votes, and ended up defeating South Africa by only one vote after an odd abstention (see below).

Nation Vote
1 2 3
10 11 12
6 11 11
5 2 0
2 0 0
0 0 0
Total Votes 23 24 23


The controversy over the decision to award the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germanymarker led to a further change in practice. The final tally was 12 votes to 11 in favor of Germany over the contenders South Africa, who had been favorites to win. New Zealandmarker FIFA member Charles Dempsey, who was instructed to vote for South Africa by the Oceania Football Confederation, abstained from voting at the last minute. If he had voted for the South African bid, the tally would have been 12–12, giving the decision to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who was widely believed then to have voted for South Africa. Dempsey was among eight members of the Executive Committee to receive a fax by editors of the German satirical magazine Titanic on Wednesday, the night before the vote, promising a cuckoo clock and Black Forest ham in exchange for voting for Germany. He argued that the pressure from all sides including "an attempt to bribe" him had become too much for him.

Consequently, FIFA decided to rotate the hosting of the final tournaments between its constituent confederations until the selection of the host for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in 2007, when they announced that they will no longer continue with their continental rotation policy (see below).

2010 FIFA World Cup

  • /

The first World Cup bidding process under continental rotation (the process of rotating hosting of the World Cup to each confederation in turn) was the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This will be the first World Cup held in Africa. It will be the largest sporting event ever held on that continent, as the Olympics have yet to visit Africa. After it was confirmed by FIFA that joint bidding would not be allowed in the future, Libyamarker and Tunisiamarker withdrew both of their bids on May 8, 2004. On May 15, 2004 in Zürich (the seventh time in a row that a host selection has been made there), South Africa, after a narrow loss in the 2006 bidding, defeated perennial candidate Morocco to host, 14 votes to 10. Egypt received no votes.

  1. , 14 votes
  2. , 10 votes
  3. , 0 votes
  4. withdrew on May 8, 2004 after joint bidding was not allowed
  5. withdrew on May 8, 2004 after joint bidding was not allowed

2014 FIFA World Cup


FIFA continued their continental rotation procedure by earmarking the 2014 World Cup for South America. FIFA initially indicated that they might back out of the rotation, but later decided to continue the rotation, at least until the 2014 host decision, after which they later backed out of the decision.

Colombiamarker had expressed interest in hosting the 2014 World Cup, but withdrew. Chilemarker and Argentinamarker had shown some interest as a joint bid, hoping to follow the same path as Korea-Japan 2002, but withdrew after joint bids were not allowed. Brazilmarker also expressed interest in hosting the World Cup. CONMEBOL, the South American Football Federation, indicated their preference for Brazil as a host. Brazil was the only nation to submit a formal bid when the official bidding procedure for CONMEBOL member associations was opened in December 2006, as by that time, Colombia, Chile and Argentina had already withdrawn.

Brazil made the first unopposed bid since the initial selection of the 1986 FIFA World Cup (when Colombia was selected as host, but later withdrew due to financial problems). The FIFA Executive Committee confirmed it as the host country in October 30, 2007 by a unanimous decision.

  1. (unanimous, unknown number of votes)

Future World Cup bids

2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups

Registered intentions to bid
Australia Russiamarker
Englandmarker United Statesmarker
Indonesiamarker Joint applications
Japanmarker Belgiummarker

Korea Republicmarker
Mexicomarker Portugalmarker


FIFA announced on October 29, 2007 that it will no longer continue with their continental rotation policy, implemented after  the 2006 World Cup host selection. The newest host selection policy is that any country may bid for a World Cup, provided that their continental conference has not hosted either of the past two World Cups. For the 2018 World Cup bidding process, this means that bids from Africa and South America would not be allowed. Countries that have announced their interest include Australia, Englandmarker, Indonesiamarker, Japanmarker, Mexicomarker, Qatarmarker, Russiamarker, South Koreamarker, United Statesmarker, the combined bid of Spainmarker & Portugalmarker and the combined bid of Belgiummarker & Netherlandsmarker.


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