Soccer World Cup

20 Best Places That Should Host The World Cup

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What Are The 20 Best Venues For Hosting The World Cup?

Image by B Brian Blair/Flickr

Every 4 years, Fifa votes on what country is going to host the World Cup. In theory, all the delegates look at the competing bids and judge them based on how appropriate each country is in terms of infrastructure, stadia and their ability to manage hundreds of thousands of extra visitors. In practise, the delegates are schmoozed and hosted for 4 years, and go home with a few extra bucks in their back pocket when an oil-rich candidate gets the nod.

Aside from Qatar, generally the country that wins the bid has to be a pretty big country – able to take up to 32 teams and all their fans. They have to have roads, public transport, hotels and of course enough stadiums of sufficient quality. There are all sorts of other words bandied about like ‘legacy’ and ‘environmental footprint’, but really no-one pays any attention to that.

What all of this means is that there are loads of famous stadiums and cities that would be a great World Cup host who will simply never get the chance.

What I’ve laid out here, are 20 cities or stadia that would be a great place to host a world cup, but either never have, or haven’t for a long (too long) time.

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20. Glasgow - Ibrox Park

Image by Blog Gallery/Flickr

Scotland is too small to host the WC by itself. It’s best hope is to team up with Wales and Ireland. Ibrox is a famous old stadium, more than capable of holding more than 50,000 supporters

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19. Canada

Songquan Deng - Flickr

Big country, excellent infrastructure. Loves sports, lots of suitable stadia. Pleasant weather in the summer. What’s the downside? Oh yeah, they don’t like soccer.

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18. London - Craven Cottage

Jon Hall - Flickr

England seem to be doing their best ruin their chances of ever hosting the World Cup again. Even if they do, it’s unlikely this stadium will get a look in, because of it’s small capacity. It’s a shame as it’s the nicest stadium in the country.

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17. Croatia

Mac11b - Flickr

A soccer mad country with lots of nice stadiums. They are probably too small to ever do it by themselves, but perhaps with one of their neighbours....

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16. Colombia

Colpress Association - Flickr

There are loads of soccer-mad South American nations. Sadly they are all too small to host the World Cup by themselves. There would also need to be some improved infrastructure and security. Still, if it were possible, Bogota would be a fantastic venue

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15. Chile


As with Colombia, one time hosts Chile would now probably be too small to re-host the World Cup, which is a shame.

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14. Glasgow - Parkhead

Parisbhoy - Flickr

Though a spent force in European football today, Celtic are a historically famous club, and it would be a crime if Celtic Park were never to host a World Cup game.

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13. Belgium

Darzog - Flickr

Belgium has the infrastructure, but probably not the quantity of stadia to do it by themselves. The King Badouin Stadium in Brussels would be a fitting venue for any occasion

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12. Bolivia

Hermenpaca - Flickr

La Paz is famous for having the highest altitude stadium in the world – which would explain Bolivia’s excellent home record in World Cup qualifiers. That’s got to be worth a look as a world cup venue surely?

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11. Argentina

Mark Hollinworth - Flickr

Ok, Argentina have hosted it before, but that was in 1978 when a military junta ruled the country, and rumours of match-fixing abounded. It would be good for it come back so they could do it properly. El Bombonero is my favourite stadium in the world.

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10. Nigeria

Joefund - Flickr

When South Africa won the right to host the WC in 2010, only 2 other countries were in the running. Nigeria were the outside bet. There are major issues with infrastructure, stadium and security, but my goodness, the Nigerians would be the best hosts ever.

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9. West Africa

Nyon45 - Flickr

A bit of a cheat as I’ve mentioned Nigeria already. More feasible is if a cluster of countries were able to host it – Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon perhaps?

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8. Liverpool - Anfield

Andynugent - Flickr

Going back to the folorn hope that England may host the competition again, it’s imperative that Anfield gets a look in. If it still exists, that is.

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7. Egypt

tchexxum - Flickr

Egypt lost out to South Africa in 2010. Their chance might not come round again for quite a while. In Al Ahly, they have possibly the most famous team and stadium in Africa.

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6. Wales

Gordonplant - Flickr

Wales has at least 4 stadia capable of hosting World Cup games. Too small to do it by themselves, they are well equipped to co host with their celtic brothers or England. Plus, they might actually get to qualify for once.

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5. Ireland

Chris Heaney - Flickr

I’m not using its commercial name. This is the only stadium in Ireland fit to hold WC games. It’s already hosted the Europa League final. There’s certain a big enough fan base to ensure the games are sold out.

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4. India

The World Cricket Village - Flickr

India is a huge country with a huge population. They are desperate for recognition on a world stage, and there’s enough will to improve the infrastructure. The only problem is that football is way down the list of popularity behind Cricket, amongst others.

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3. Australia

Theresat - Flickr

Another country with the infrastructure, the stadia and the love of sports. However, they are another country where soccer doesn’t feature too highly. With the launch of the A-League though, thats changing. It’s surely only a matter of time before they host the World Cup.

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2. China

Marcosborn - Flickr

If it’s inevitable that Australia will one day host the World Cup, then it’s even more inevitable that China will host it. They already have the obligatory clubs owned by millionaires who pay ex-stars a fortune to trot around – so they’re halfway there. If they don’t host the 2026 or 2030 World Cup, I’ll eat my hat.

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1. The Netherlands

Clive Jedi Roach

One of the great mysteries of the world is that Holland has never hosted the World Cup. The inventors of Total Football, home of some of the greatest players of all time would surely be a perfect place to have the tournament. They Plenty of world-class venues, excellent transport and a football savvy population. Why has this never happened Fifa?

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