Following the announcement that Brazil has been awarded the 2014 World Cup, FIFA decided to end the rotation among the confederations (Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Africa). They did this just as North America's turn to host the Cup was due, in 2018. I find the timing curious though I really don't see a grand conspiracy. I'm nearly positive that politicking by European nations prompted FIFA to end the rotation. By 2018, the World Cup would have been out of Europe for 12 years. To me, that isn't a very long time; to Europeans, it apparently is.
I understand the rationale: Europe has the most teams involved in qualifying and contributes the most teams to the field. Therefore it is only logical that they get the World Cup at least every three rotations. Well, it's logical to them. To me, the only thing in consideration should be the ability to host the Cup. This means quality stadia, quality locations, ability to handle the millions of tourists, and, nowadays, to provide the security that needs to be in place. I think that limits where the Cup can be held, but not unfairly. For example, I'm positive Brazil will put on a good Finals; they better, anyway, because I plan to be there.
In terms of 2018, I think the favorite is still the United States. The United States has the stadia and the ability to handle it, as shown by 1994. The runner up will probably be England or Spain. Coming in 4th will likely be Mexico, which is a shame because I'm sure they'd put on a good Cup, too. I suppose this will sort itself out over the next 10 years but I look forward to the World Cup coming back to the US.