USSF to Bid for 2018 World Cup; FIFA is “Very Open” to the Idea
The Washington Post is reporting that the US Soccer Federation (USSF) is “formulating a bid to host the 2018 World Cup.” According to Sunil Gulati – President of the USSF – FIFA is “very open” to the idea of bringing the world’s biggest tournament to United States. He also stated that CONCACAF was “very positive” about Gulati’s intentions.
The US Soccer Federation will organize a committee to formally announce their intentions to FIFA at their annual meeting in Los Angeles later this year (maybe David Beckham will show up). England’s also planning to bid for 2018.
Sunil Gulati was a member of the committee that successfully bid on the 1994 World Cup. And while the world was skeptical about holding that big football party in a developing soccer nation like the US, the American hosts still hold the record for highest average match attendance with 68,991 per game (third place Germany ‘06 comes in at 52,491). Additionally, soccer has done nothing but gone up since 1994, in both fan support and quality of play.
As of now, the US clearly remains the most capable country in the Western Hemisphere to host the tournament (and arguably the world), which presents the interesting possibility of having the shindig arrive four years early. While FIFA has expressed their intent to hold the 2014 tournament in South America, they’ve also made it clear that if their South American bidders aren’t ready in time, the magic FIFA train will head north. Brazil has expressed a strong interest in hosting the party, and I think we all agree it would be a great location, however the country would have to undergo a major revamp in order to be ready, and it’s possible that they won’t be.
Gulati has made it clear that their intent is to bid on 2018, but he also said that the USSF is willing to open its doors as early as 2014 if FIFA deems South America unready. (The hosts of the 2014 World Cup will be decided this November.)
As for me, I’m very confident that the 2014 World Cup will be hosted in South America, and I have a very strong feeling that we’ll all be headed to Brazil in 7 years. Brazil seems committed and I think they”ll get the job done in time (assuming they’re chosen of course).
England’s bid will bring strong competition, but – regardless of who’s chosen – as of now it looks like I won’t have to learn a new language for the tournament.
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