The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been awarded to Russia, to the surprise of many observers. Bookies were betting on either England or the joint-hosts Spain and Portugal. England were front-runners for quite some time, but after the media decided that the middle of the bidding process would be the best time to uncover corruption within FIFA, the chances for football's fatherland dipped dramatically--at least, that is one of the excuses many are pleading. As for the fourth bidders, joint-hosts Belgium and The Netherlands, they were almost out of the running from the beginning, poor souls.
Almost no one believed that Russia would win the bid, particularly after Vladimir Putin and the rest of the Russian delegation chose to snub the bid presentation on Wednesday. However, the country is prepared to spend $10 billion to host the tournament, with fourteen cities included in the proposal. The matches will be arranged in clusters throughout the nation, centered on St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.
Congratulations to Russia, who becomes the first eastern European nation to host the World Cup.