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`Japan snubbed Korea in 3rd round of World Cup voting`

Posted December. 04, 2010 14:20,   


Japan is known to have turned its back on Korea in the voting for the 2022 World Cup soccer finals Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Japanese member of the FIFA Executive Committee snubbed Korea, which was disqualified in the third round of voting for the 2022 event.

What would have happened had Japan backed Korea in the final round of voting between Korea and winning bidder Qatar remains uncertain, but members of Korea’s bidding committee were very disappointed that Japan failed to cast a ballot for Korea.

A committee official said, “Japan is a neighbor and pledged to support Korea…,” expressing regret.

As a result, Japan has effectively brought back memories of despair it suffered for failure to host the 2002 World Cup alone after making an independent bid, as it went on to co-host the event with Korea. Japan had declared its bid for the tournament as early as 1989 and was considered a shoo-in to land the hosting right.

Korea joined the bidding competition in 1993, however, about three years before FIFA’s selection of the host country, dampening Japan’s independent bid.

In the vote for selecting the host of the 2018 World Cup Thursday, England, the birthplace of modern soccer, was the first to be disqualified in the first round of voting with just two votes. Russia secured 13 votes in the second round to land the event, besting the joint bids of Spain-Portugal (seven) and the Netherlands-Belgium (two).

Citing officials from candidates that were eliminated from the bidding, global media including the Associated Press and AFP said FIFA’s selections turned out to be “a victory for oil dollars.”

Qatar, an Arab backwater that has never advanced to the World Cup, had the most powerful weapon at hand: oil money. Russia also had ample capital stemming from its rich natural resources, including gas.

News reports made no mention of the role oil dollars played in the bidding process, but the voting results raised suspicion and disappointment in Koreans.

Russia won the 2018 World Cup by winning nine votes in the first round of voting and 13 in the second.

In landing the 2022 World Cup, Qatar won 11 votes in the first round, 10 in the second round, 11 in the third, and 14 in the fourth.

These results suggest that Russia and Qatar effectively had staunch supporters from the very beginning. The two had been considered longshots to win their respective bids.

Prior to the vote, management consulting company McKinsey had expected Russia to finish lowest among the candidates for the 2018 event. Qatar was also ranked fourth among the five bidders for 2022.

Members of the FIFA Executive Committee, who were thought to be keen on the World Cup’s commercial viability, apparently made the least commercial decision under the influence of the “power of money.”