World Cup 2018 – 6 days to decision
The news that the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) have pledged their 3 votes to the Spain/Portugal Bid should not come as any great surprise, considering the historical and cultural links between the respective countries. Indeed the Iberian Bid team are in bullish mood, with the Spain/Portugal Chief Executive Miguel Angel Lopez confidently claiming they had 8 of the 22 votes.
With the Nigerian and Tahitian members banned from voting the 22 remaining votes are spread as follows:
|North & Central America and Caribbean
The method used to elect the successful Host Nation will be via the Exhaustive Ballot. In the Exhaustive Ballot each FIFA member casts a single vote for the candidate bid of their choice. However, if no nation receives an absolute majority of votes (in this case 12) then the bid with the fewest votes is eliminated and a further round of voting occurs. This process is repeated for as many rounds as necessary until one candidate has a majority. Sepp Blatter has a vote, with the FIFA President also having the casting vote in the event of a tie.
In this scenario a candidate who has the most votes in the first round does not necessarily win through. The trick is to avoid elimination and then pick up the votes of the nation just eliminated as the rounds of voting continue. To try and work out the numerous permutations of voting and the number of rounds it may take is a fruitless exercise in speculation.
This time next week, the England 2018 Bid Team will be waking up to face the morning after the night before. Hopefully they don’t awake to the sight of champagne still on ice.