France faces weight of history in bid to retain World Cup bid France faces weight of history in bid to retain World Cup bid
THE fate of the bid to host the 2018 World Cup is now in the hands of France’s football federation. As the country awaits the result of a controversial court ruling, the country’s football federation has embarked on an unprecedented exercise to try to preserve the tournament from being scrapped.
The decision is critical for the future of European football and the continent as a whole. It could set a precedent for other nations who will be bidding for the 2030 world championship and beyond.
The court case is set to be announced on Tuesday, after the country’s supreme court handed the ruling down without waiting for an appeal.
France is in the final year of a three-year phase during which there is a window to present a bid of its own for the 2022 finals, following its unsuccessful campaign in 2014. France’s failure then left it open to the possibility that the country might need to bid again.
And after several setbacks, including missing out on a host-country contract in favour of Russia, and a failed bid to host the tournament in France in 2014, the case has been complicated further by last year’s decision by a French court to disqualify several directors of the bid, including the head of the organising committee, Didier Deschamps. This ruling, which was upheld by a higher court, could set a precedent for the World Cup in the future. The decision would also be a blow to the bid, as the French federation was given the chance to take over the contract after the ruling was handed down. But instead, it said it would support a bid from Qatar instead. The court will now look back at whether France could have found a suitable replacement to Deschamps.
All sides agree there is a crisis of confidence in the bid as its ability to organise a championship with the financial clout necessary to host the event is called into question. Qatar have shown themselves to be a strong and capable bid