Russia and Qatar take World Cup to new lands

Thu Dec 2, 2010 11:54pm EST
 

Russia won on the second round of voting in which an absolute majority was required. England, motherland of soccer, was humiliated, going out in the first round with just two votes despite three days of lobbying in Zurich by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Observers said they may have suffered from an adverse reaction by FIFA to the corruption allegations and to Wednesday's serious outbreak of soccer hooliganism at a cup match in Birmingham.

The Russians, leading with nine votes on the first ballot, obtained 13 votes on the second round, ahead of Spain/Portugal on seven and Netherlands/Belgium with just two.

Qatar led in the 2022 ballot on each of the four rounds, obtaining 14 votes against eight to the U.S. in the final round.

"I think it was the wrong decision," U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters.

Australia made a first round exit with just one vote and Japan and South Korea fell out in turn on the next two rounds.

(Editing by Kevin Fylan. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

 
<p>Qatari fans celebrate at Souk Waqif in Doha December 2, 2010, after the announcement that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad</p>