World Cup goes to Russia in 2018 and to Qatar in 2022
In a stunning pair of decisions Thursday, FIFA, world soccer's governing body, voted to award the 2018 Men's World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
It was a case of FIFA boldly going where FIFA has not gone before. The World Cup has never been staged in either the former Eastern bloc or in the Middle East.
England and the U.S. originally had been favored to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, respectively, but they fell by the wayside earlier in the voting in Switzerland by the 22 memebers of FIFA's executive committee.
The twin decisions were announced in Zurich by Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, FIFA's president, and were greeted by spontaneous celebrations in the winning countries.
"We go to new lands," Blatter said.
The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa and the 2014 tournament will be played in Brazil.
Check back here for reaction and updates throughout the day and see latimes.com/sports/soccer for a full report later on Thursday.
--Grahame L. Jones
Photo: FIFA President Joseph Blatter announces Russia will host the 2018 World Cup on Dec. 2. Credit: Michael Probst / Associated Press.