Football didn’t quite come home at the end of Euro 2020, but runners-up England can go one better and win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and that outcome is 8/1 with William Hill.

Qualification continued with the latest match away to Poland in Group I which ended in a draw. Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marion make up the group from which the top two teams progress to the finals at the end of next year. England are 1/18 with Paddy Power to win the Group.

A Controversial Venue

The staging of the world’s biggest single sport event in Qatar has been the subject of much debate. Questions have been asked about human rights and the safety of workers building new stadia.

The decision was made in a former era at FIFA and it continues the new approach of the World Cup being played in a country not known for its international football heritage..

Since 2002 Japan and Korea jointly, South Africa, Russia in 2018 and now Qatar have hosted the World Cup. None of these nations would be contenders to win the World Cup and in my opinion the hosts should have a genuine chance of winning the tournament.

That would limit the hosts to the major footballing powers of Europe and South America. There is nothing wrong with FIFA promoting diversity and taking the World Cup away from the traditional venues.

However, staging the tournament to oil-rich Qatar and moving matches from June and July to December was a strange decision when surely England’s turn has come round again. A Word Cup at home which England could win would promote diversity to new levels.

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Future Goals

A number of years ago some administrators of the English game announced that the 2022 World Cup was the target. We all probably had a little laugh to ourselves because that objective was stated at a time when England did not get out of the group in the 2014 World Cup and lost to Iceland in the last 16 of the finals of the European Championships in 2016.

However, England teams at junior levels were starting to make an impact in tournaments. Players like Phil Foden, Jordan Sancho Saka and Belinghgham were emerging as players who would be experienced pros from the top draw in the next few years.

Some may say the next World Cup has come too soon but these are special players and age is no barrier. By 2026, much could have changed for a tournament jointly hosted by Mexico, Canada and Colombia.

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Qualifying Process

The qualifying process for the World Cup has become a farce. There are now too many minnows clogging up the schedule who rarely win fixtures at this level. It would be better for Gibraltar, San Marino, Faroe Islands and others to have their own qualifying process that gives say two smaller nations a chance to play in the finals of a World Cup. In the current format they don’t have a prayer.

England have dropped one point in six matches and can quite easily win maximum points in remaining fixtures in their 10 match qualifying schedule. The time has come to take qualifying form into a World Cup and England can win another one after 1966 and all that next winter in Qatar.

 

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