BBC news correspondent James Pearce has just learned that today's announcement of World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2022 hosts is likely to be delayed. Originally scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Eastern, Pearce relays word from a FIFA official that voting is taking longer than anticipated:
A source at FIFA has just told me that the voting is still going on. The announcement is likely to be later than scheduled
In a clumsy metaphor, I previously alluded to the FIFA balloting as akin to picking a Pope, and while I bemoaned the lack of smoke signals, FIFA's voting goes until it's done. There's no time limit, though there is a limit on rounds. With each iteration of the voting, the least supported bid is eliminated from the process. Voting stops when a majority is achieved, meaning the 2018 voting could have anywhere from one to three rounds. With an extra entrant, 2022 voting could go four rounds.
So what does the delay mean? More rounds, silly. These votes always looked like they'd be close. James Pearce's tweet tells us that reality's matching perception.