Soccerstoriesbook's Blog


SO IT’S 2022 OR BUST

The U.S. Bid Committee has announced that it has dropped its efforts to host the 2018 World Cup and will concentrate on securing the 2022 cup.  [October 15]

Comment: The U.S. thus drops out of a competition in which the likely winner will be European (Belgium/Netherlands, England, Russia or Spain/Portugal, with the English favored) and zeroes in on beating Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Australia for ’22.

Said FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke:  “We have had an open and constructive dialogue with the USA Bid for some time now, after it became apparent that there was a growing movement to stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Europe.  The announcement today by the USA Bid to focus solely on the 2022 FIFA World Cup is therefore a welcome gesture which is much appreciated by FIFA.”

Just how much is this gesture appreciated by FIFA?  Is the USA’s move to simplify the 2018 situation a quid pro quo?  After all, England bid officials said as early as September 28 that they would withdraw from 2022 and concentrate on 2018 if the U.S. dropped its 2018 bid.  We’ll find out December 2, when the 24-man FIFA Executive Committee–seven of the members European–selects the hosts of the 21st and 22nd World Cups.

As it stands, what is perceived as a strong American bid only got stronger.  Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, so there’s no incentive to go back there any time soon.  Tiny Qatar (about half the size of Fiji) would win only if FIFA somehow wanted to curry favor with the Middle East.  And as for Australia, the land Down Under may resemble another New Frontier, like the U.S. pre-1994, but when it comes to the cash to be raked in, there’s no comparison.

For those who saw FIFA reject the USA’s bid to host 1986 out of hand, who sweated out the vote for 1994, it’s difficult to admit, but start making your ticket plans for 2022 now.  You’ll just be 12 years older, not eight.

If you want to soak in the official USA Bid party line, go to http://www.goUSAbid.com/

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