World Cup 2018, 2022 Bids: United States Hoping To Host World's Biggest Sporting Event In 2022

They are still eight and 12 years away, but on Thursday, we will learn the hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. 

The bid process, which began in January of 2009, reaches its conclusion on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland, when hopeful countries from around the world make their final presentations in hopes of convincing the FIFA Executive Committee to vote for their bid to become a host for the world's biggest sporting event. 

There are a total of 11 countries making nine bids for the two tournaments (Belgium and Netherlands have submitted a joint-bid, as did Portugal and Spain, both for 2018). Mexico withdrew its bid in 2009, and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA. 

Because Qatar and South Korea only submitted bids for 2022, and Japan, Australia and the United States withdrew their 2018 bids, it means that the 2018 World Cup will be played in a European country. 

2018 World Cup Bids:

England - After losing out on the 2006 World Cup to Germany, England is trying yet again to host their first tournament since 1966 (which just so happens to be the only time The Three Lions hoisted the trophy). This is the heavy favorite to win the 2018 bid, especially after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided not to attend Wednesday's presentation, citing "unscrupulous competition" and "filth and compromising material" -- he is likely referring to reports of alleged collusion between Spain-Portugal and Qatar. England's already existing soccer stadiums give it a leg-up on its competitors. 

Portugal and Spain - Portugal, which hosted the 2004 European Championships, and Spain, host of the 1964 European Championships and the 1982 World Cup, decided to join their efforts for a 2018 bid. If selected (they're 5:1 favorites according to World Cup Odds, behind England at 2:1), they'd be just the second joint-hosts after Japan and South Korea in 2002. A majority of the matches would be held in Spain, with Portugal likely contributing just three venues to Spain's nine (assuming FIFA's allocation of 12 total stadiums). 

Russia - Russia's bid took a hit when Vladimir Putin, who had previously ordered Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sports, to "prepare a bid for Russia to hold the 2018 World Cup," decided not to attend the country's bid presentation on Wednesday in Zurich. But still: the country is reportedly ready to spend $10 billion. Fourteen cities are part of the proposal, divided into five clusters, centered around St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi (host of the 2014 Winter Olympics) and Yekaterinburg.

Belgium and Netherlands - The "other" joint effort bidding on the 2018 World Cup, combines one of the world's strongest soccer powers with ... Belgium. The longshot of longshots at 50:1 odds. 

Following Wednesday's presentation, FIFA Executive Committee will vote and announce both the 2018 and 2022 hosts on Thursday, Dec. 2. 

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