We continue our look at the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups with Belgium and Holland's joint bid for 2018.
Tagline: Together for Great Goals
What the Tagline Should Be: HOPEFULLY We'll Still Be Together for Great Goals
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Pros: Beligum and Holland are offering the sensible, northern European approach to hosting futbol's premier event. And what they might lack in beaches and recognizable landmarks they more than make up for in steady, consistent effeciency (Yo HOTTIE!! show us your balanced budgets!!!). Both would be first time hosts and could offer a great chance to pay homage to one of the great international sides of the last 50 years (the perennial bridesmaids in orange). Also, to judge from their YouTube video, they may just be the first nation to broadcast the World Cup in a completely grunge indie ouevre, just think of the massive hipster market waiting to be tapped!!
Cons: That whole sensible approach thing can go right out the window if Belgium's Flemish north breaks away from the Wallonian minority in the south. (I know that "Wallonia" might sound made up, but believe me it, and the hostility towards it are very real). FIFA has said that they aren't real fond of joint-hosting bids, so going from two countries to three might be awkward. Neither country has an 80,000 seat arena for the biggest matches (stupid fiscal logic!). Also if they continue their aesthetic evolution from grunge indie to post-modernism we might just end up with 45 minutes of a match and 45 minutes of a cow's unblinking eye...snooty art critics are not a great futbol market.
Summary: Belgium/Holland probably has a solid chance to be a compromise site. Continental, centrally located, consistently stable, they'll appeal to several EU hugging politicos, but they just don't elicit the same excitement as other nations. (South Africa! Brazil! and now...Belgium?!?) and while the Netherlands has mobilized great players from their history to get out the vote around the world Belgium seems to mostly be sitting back and saying: "uhh...we can help too!"
Chances: Pretty good if England and Russia screw up their bids. And since screwing things up is a grand tradition for both the FA and Russia, I'll go ahead and say: "pretty good".