Nearly two years ago, Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. The Qataris’ victory over competing bidders such as Australia, Japan and the U.S. provided one of the biggest surprises in the soccer world in 2010.

And FIFA president Sepp Blatter is apparently more certain than ever about the decision to bring the World Cup to Qatar.

Blatter traced the recent history of the World Cup and reiterated FIFA’s intention to spread the tournament throughout the organizations’ six confederations during a speech at the Doha Goals forum. 

““We went to Asia in 2002 with Korea and Japan hosting the matches, then we went to South Africa in 2010,” Batter said. “When we took the Cup to Africa, a crown prince from Saudi Arabia asked me ‘I am happy that you have taken the World Cup to Africa, but one day you should try to bring the World Cup to the Arab world.’ ”

The World Cup had been hosted by European and South American countries through most of its history, Mexico playing the role of exception in 1970 and ’86. FIFA began expanding its scope by awarding the 1994 World Cup to the U.S.

“The cycle has been complete with Asia (2002), Germany (Europe) and Africa (2010) and the next World Cup in Brazil,” Blatter said. “We will host the 2018 Cup in Russia, which has not hosted any major tournaments since 2008.”

Blatter also visited the 2022 World Cup headquarters, reporting on FIFA’s website: “I was impressed to see the level of preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Our Qatari colleagues and friends are doing a very professional job.”