FIFA once held a policy of rotating the World Cup through the different confederations. While that policy is no longer in place, it was in 2003 when it was announced that a South American nation would host the 2014 World Cup. Later that year, the CONMEBOL made the announcement that Brazil, Colombia and Argentina wished to host the 2014 World Cup finals. Brazil first declared their intention to nominate in 2004, with the full support of the CONMEBOL, followed shortly by Colombia’s own announcement. Argentina did not make an official nomination, and Colombia withdrew in 2007, leaving Brazil as the only nomination and a virtual surety of hosting the 2014 World Cup.
The bidding process is extensive, and involves a broad array of considerations and deliberation. The general steps, as outlined on the FIFA website, are below:
- FIFA sends out requests for expressions of interest
- Member Associations express an interest in bidding for a specific event
- FIFA sends out bidding information, including the Bidding Manual and supporting documents (Hosting Agreement etc.)
- FIFA workshop for interested bidders
- Member Associations return the Bidding Agreement confirming compliance with bid requirements
- Member Associations submit bids in accordance with the Bidding Manual
- FIFA evaluates the bid submissions and identifies the selected candidate for approval.
- FIFA recommendation
- FIFA announces the successful host for the event
There were early concerns regarding Brazil’s readiness, particularly in terms of stadiums. Brazil’s president made the announcement in September 2006 that the country did not have a single stadium capable of hosting a World Cup game, and that they would need to build or upgrade 12 stadiums.
Initially, 18 Brazilian states applied to the federal government to host World Cup games. This was eventually narrowed to 12 states, twelve cities and twelve separate stadiums. Readiness has been a constant source of speculation, as Brazil continues to work on stadiums just a few weeks out from the inaugural match.