Much of the consternation over alleged FIFA corruption has been over their awarding the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar, a small nation with a deplorable human rights record that was rated as the least capable bidder of hosting the tournament when evaluated by FIFA. With the United States' Justice Department ordering the arrests of several FIFA officials on the FIFA Executive Committee, which determines who hosts World Cups, there has been hope that the 2022 World Cup (and the 2018 tournament, awarded to Russia) would be hosted by other countries instead.
FIFA's head of PR took to the stage to answer questions on the matter, he said that FIFA will go ahead with plans to play the tournaments in Russia and Qatar. Well, at least for now.
"Russia and Qatar will be played, this is fact today," he said. "I can't go into speculation about what will happen tomorrow."
So the 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia and the 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar. That is the plan and will continue to be the plan. FIFA is adamant about that and the statement was made with a fair amount of annoyance that the question would even be asked (again). But then he backed off a bit.
The U.S. was one of five bidders for the 2022 World Cup. They, along with Australia, Japan and South Korea all scored better in their evaluations than Qatar, but lost out on the right to host anyway. Afterward, the U.S. wouldn't come out and say that the process was tainted and Qatar had bribed officials to win the right to host, but they did say that they would not bid on another World Cup until things were changed.
If the hosting rights are changed, the U.S. may face an uphill battle because it is the country's judicial system that is prosecuting FIFA officials. Some may be uncomfortable with the World Cup being moved because of a U.S. investigation and then awarded to the U.S., but how that plays out is entirely speculation at this point.
FIFA carried out its own investigation into potential corruption of the World Cup vote, but refused to make the report on it public and the independent investigator who carried it out slammed the abridged version released by FIFA before resigning. FIFA then went on to say that while there may be some punishment handed out in the wake of the investigation, Russia and Qatar would not lose their hosting rights.
There have been calls by some involved in the sport and even in FIFA to have a re-vote of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights, but FIFA has dismissed them. As of now, they are still dismissing them, but more information than ever before on it is set to come out. That could force FIFA's hand, and they're essentially admitting as such by acknowledging that they don't know what the future will bring.
Russia and Qatar are still the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts. For now. And we have no idea where things will go from here.