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Posted at 6:19 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Russia, Qatar land World Cup in 2018, 2022

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 10:44 a.m.

Russia has been awarded the 2018 World Cup, Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

For details, see Soccer Insider.

Filed at 6:19 a.m.

The World Cup sites for 2018 and 2022 will be announced at 10 a.m. EST and let's just say that at this point all eyes have been taken off the ball.

The British say the Spaniards are trying to derail their bid for 2018 with an attack on Brit papers' investigation into FIFA. British Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham have arrived for the announcement and the bid by their country focuses on the transformational power of the game. Prince William has promised an "extraordinary" Cup, although, let's face it, this is also the guy who scheduled his wedding on the same day as the NFL Draft.

The Spanish member of FIFA's executive committee spoke out about the "slander" of his colleagues during a plea for Spain-Portugal's bid for the 2018 Cup. "You have already heard enough slander in the media. The bidding process is clean," Angel Maria Villar Llona told the other 21 committee members.

Former president Bill Clinton made the pitch for the United States in 2022, stressing America's melting-pottedness. One British bookmaker has installed Qatar, which offered the star power of Zinedine Zidane and touted the greenness of its venues, as the favorite for 2022.

All of which is fascinating and, to varying degees (depending on the amount of coverage of Beckham) pleasant to watch. We've heard what the U.S. would do for a World Cup, but what would a World Cup do for U.S. soccer? Leander Schaerlaeckens, an ESPN soccer writer, says that the sport won't leave the NFL and others in its dust. Soccer will continue to grow, but, he writes:

The only realistic path for gaining a sustainable foothold in the American sports culture is one of slow, controlled growth. And that has more to do with the way sports become ingrained in society than the ability and effort on the part of those involved in American soccer.

What would a World Cup do for soccer in the United States?

By Cindy Boren  | December 2, 2010; 6:19 AM ET
Categories:  World Cup  
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It would make it more realistic to imagine the US winning the World Cup at some point. We have some of the most talented athletes in the World right here in our backyards. Most of them end up playing American Football, baseball and basketball. Again, if we had guys like Chad Ochocinco feeling like they could make a fine career pursuing their soccer dream instead of settling for football because that's where the money is, we could become a better National side.

World Cup here, and/or the announcement that we'll be having it here in 12 years would go a long way in helping pave the way to the US becoming a Soccer Super Power. MLS is growing and we need to keep the domestic player pool growing and progressing in step with a big vision.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 2, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

traffic would get worse. Mostly coming up from Mexico.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | December 2, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Qatar over the USA... now THAT's an upset.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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