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USSF's Prospects to Host in 2018

If you want to read what USSF President Sunil Gulati had to say about the women's team, about Hope Solo and Greg Ryan, hop on down to the thread I created earlier. If you want a progress report on the USSF's plans to bid for the 2018 men's World Cup, stay right here.

I asked Gulati for an update on the bidding process, where the U.S. stands at the moment and what he thought of Sepp Blatter's comments encouraging China to bid in the near future.

"It's in FIFA's interests to have multiple bidders on any event. The president is very diplomatic. The number of countries that are potentially bidding for the World Cup is related to the number of countries he visits. We are in China right now, so that's okay. Having said that, we will await a decision in the next 45 days from FIFA about the rotation system. It seems to me that if they had set up a rotation system you should at least go through the rotation all the way once, and if that's the case, the next World Cup in 2018 would be in CONCACAF. They are talking about not continuing the rotation system, in which case my guess is it would be open to a worldwide competition. ...

It is our intention to bid on the World Cup and I think the things we have shown FIFA and the world of soccer we can do in three World Cups [men and women] we have hosted are almost beyond belief. ...

I think we will be an attractive host. FIFA set out with a mission in American soccer to give us the World Cup in 1994, which was a risk. The 1999 Women's World Cup wasn't a risk, but it was a great opportunity and one that exploded. I don't think FIFA's work on the United States is done. We are not getting 60 shares for TV games of the national team, we are not on the front page of every major newspaper all the time, we are not having Landon Donovan in the consciousness of the American public in the same way that Barry Bonds is. So all of that is work to be done, but it's getting better. ... FIFA's work is not done, our work is not done, but we think they can help and I think we would be a terrific host again."

So Insider loyalists, whatcha think? Should FIFA come back to the United States in 2018? Or, after experimenting with South Africa and Brazil, should the Cup return to Europe?

By Steve Goff  |  September 29, 2007; 1:08 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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Next: Breaking News: Solo Will Not Play

Comments

FIFA should look at the USA and see the untapped possibilities. Where else can more athletes and money come from an untapped potential.

I'd suggest
USA
China
India

as places FIFA should consider. Though I do like the idea of FIFA rotating continents as well.

Posted by: Izzy | September 29, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

"we are not having Landon Donovan in the consciousness of the American public in the same way that Barry Bonds is. "

---

Of all the US athletes -- male AND female -- Gulati could have thought of to use as an example, he chooses one that is currently under investigation for steroid use?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Donovan could use some steroids,and cajones.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 3:35 AM | Report abuse

I want another World Cup, but I'm selfish like that. I also want Chicago to get the Olympics....

Posted by: sitruc | September 29, 2007 4:38 AM | Report abuse

europe, hands down

Posted by: littles | September 29, 2007 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Please, the rotation system is gone because UEFA and the Brit FA's (Eng, Scot, Wales) want it gone so every 3rd WC can be in Europe and FIFA is just a puppet for UEFA. They have no interest in growing the game globally. If they did the US would be one of two markets to push as hard as possible (China being the other; India is a non-starter as soccer is virtually non-existant there). As it is, it's all about Europe and if other people benefit from that, great; in FIFA's eyes.

It would be great if the US get's 2018. However, I would bet dollars to donuts that England gets 2018, then China/Australia gets 2022, Argentina 2026, Europe/(loser of the 2022 bid from China or Australia)get's 2030, MAYBE the US will get 2034 assuming we still have a top flight league and don't have to go through hoops like we did in '94. Even then there is a chance Mexico gets 2034.

Posted by: papa bear | September 29, 2007 5:08 AM | Report abuse

The #1 rule at FIFA is that money talks. The US hosted the most profitable World Cup in history, and that was with virtually no soccer culture in place. Now, we have an established league, a better national team program, and thousands more fans who were introduced to the game by the 94 World Cup or by MLS in the ensuing years. By 2018, those things should all improve even more. In all likelihood, 2018 would outdo 1994 and set a new, even higher standard.

On the other hand, FIFA has made boneheaded decisions before, so who knows? Maybe they don't want to get richer? It certainly seems to motivate the majority of their decisions...

FIFA will likely do away with the rotation process, which is why I'm sure that papa bear's China/Australia World Cup is unlikely for 2022. Maybe by 2030 they'll get a crack at it. I feel like it will be the US or England in 2018, the loser from that in 2022, and then a likely return to South America for 2026.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 29, 2007 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Donovan could use some steroids,and cajones.

Posted by: | September 29, 2007 03:35 AM

----------

But don't the cajones shrink after steroid use?

Posted by: Falc | September 29, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John stole my thunder. With drugs in sport an interntional headliner given the fiasco called the Tour de France, the positive tests at the World Track & Field championships, and the Landis imbroglio/ruling, Gulati has to pick the most controversial drug-related figure in American sports for comparison. Just another example of his incredible lack of awareness and common sense. There is a serious problem of self-delusion when it comes to American soccer, and it starts from the top. The USSF needs someone who is prepared to admit that the sport as currently operated and played (on both the men's and women's sides) has serious problems, and that those weaknesses must be addressed, even if it forces the breakup of the little fiefdoms (especially in youth soccer)and resulting alienation of some longterm soccer "supporters." Gulati clearly does not have the inclination or the will to do this, so it is time to find someone with a new vision to lead the USSF. The problem, of course, is where to find this person. What I wouldn't give to find an American Platini!

"We've got serious problems, and we need serious people to solve them, and Sunil, your 15 minutes are up!"
---paraphrasing Michael Douglas, "The American President"

Posted by: Throwin | September 29, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Sunil Gulati is a bungler who has hired other bunglers (Greg Ryan most prominent at the moment), and at this point I wouldn't follow the man to the corner store for a bag of Doritos. Who cares what he says?

Posted by: Anthony | September 29, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Donovan could use some steroids,and cajones.

Posted by: | September 29, 2007 03:35 AM

He could use some drawers?

Posted by: RK | September 29, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks UEFA controls FIFA can't count very well.

Each country gets a vote. Africa and UEFA have roughly the same power in FIFA. If you can get Africa lined up behind any other confederation, you win.

Posted by: Tom | September 29, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Our Natl team programs (and perhaps referees as well) will not markedly improve until all of the greedy, power-hungry amateurs have been replaced by greedy power hungry pros! :) Seriously, the Fed has got to turn itself over and lossen the reins. Chances of that happening? HAH! We've got cheatin' bob (who is never going to do well in a major tourny) instead of a European-experienced coach (which is vitally important, IMO).

Until then: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!

Posted by: GrillMaster | September 29, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Quote from Chest: "The #1 rule at FIFA is that money talks. The US hosted the most profitable World Cup in history, and that was with virtually no soccer culture in place. Now, we have an established league, a better national team program, and thousands more fans who were introduced to the game by the 94 World Cup or by MLS in the ensuing years. By 2018, those things should all improve even more. In all likelihood, 2018 would outdo 1994 and set a new, even higher standard."

The other key thing is the new round of NFL stadiums with loads of luxury boxes (that can be rented for $$$$), boatload of seats, and other upscale amenities that no other country's stadiums have. If money speaks (gasp) than the US is the obvious choice. As a fan who'd like to see the Cup in the US, it's be ironic if this was the first time in major sports that the $ didn't make the decision.

Posted by: McLean | September 29, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Sunil Gulati is a bungler who has hired other bunglers (Greg Ryan most prominent at the moment), and at this point I wouldn't follow the man to the corner store for a bag of Doritos. Who cares what he says?
------------

Ryan was hired by the previous prez, Bob Contiguglia, not Gulati.

Posted by: Goff | September 29, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the 2018 World Cup will go to Europe (probably England). The U.S. is wealthy and powerful, but Europe is still the financial heart of the sport. The Europeans won't want to miss out on three straight Cups - this will trump any interest in "growing the game" outside Europe. We should position ourselves for 2022, and also as an emergency host in 2014 if Brazil falters. I also see China as the host in 2026, if the country doesn't implode politically and environmentally before then.

Posted by: SSMD | September 29, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The other key thing is the new round of NFL stadiums with loads of luxury boxes (that can be rented for $$$$), boatload of seats, and other upscale amenities that no other country's stadiums have.
__________________________________________

I trust that someone is making sure that all of these new venues can accommodate 75-yard-wide pitches, and are otherwise soccer-friendly. A lot of potential sites in '94 ran into problems because of such issues.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 29, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

410: Good point. I think that may be an issue with the new stadiums. The football fields are about 62-yards wide including the sideline areas where the teams stand. That means there must be at least 6.5 yards, on either side, to the stands. I'm sure that FIFA would want 10 yards on either side to the stands so that it can place its advertising placards on the sidelines. I'm sure some of the NFL stadiums will have this room, but I'm just not sure - most teams are trying to get the fans closer to the action on the field.

What did you mean by "otherwise soccer-friendly"?

Posted by: Rhett | September 30, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

What did you mean by "otherwise soccer-friendly"?


Posted by: Rhett | September 30, 2007 08:36 AM
_______________________________________

Somewhere on the Internet there is probably information on all of the things that FIFA was looking at when they approved the stadiums that were used in '94; my recall isn't too good at the moment. The 75-yard requirement was probably the most likely to be a dealbreaker.

Posted by: Section 410 | September 30, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

2030 World cup most likely going to Uruguay to celebrate 100 years of the tournament.

Posted by: Soccer Guru | September 30, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

My question is why the Europeans continue to consider North and South America one continent when discussing hosting. From a BBC article about the 2018 hosting that doesn't even list CONCACAF as a potential bidder:

[quote]However, under the new format, only the last two continents which hosted the tournament would be ruled out of the bidding process.
Bose added: "This could mean an Ashes bidding war, if both England and Australia want to try for 2018.
"But any country from Europe, Asia or Oceania could theoretically make a bid."[/quote]

"Bose" is Mihir Bose, a BBC Sports Editor who really should know better. With this level of ignorance in Europe, I wouldn't rule anything out, though I think FIFA would have a hard time rejecting an attractive American bid.

Unfortunately when dealing with awarding competition hosting for the World Cup and Olympics when done via ballots where every country gets a vote, everybody's looking out for themselves and angling for concessions and hand-outs before committing their votes. Much of the current pronouncements out of FIFA headquarters and elsewhere, including CONCACAF headquarters where Jack Warner is on the record as wanting Mexico to host instead of the US, need to be seen from that perspective as part of making whoever gets it pay as much as they can afford for the privilege.

Original article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/7013110.stm

Posted by: Brad Paton | September 30, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

boy, that's not much of a report.

Posted by: franz goffka | September 30, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Also don't forget that games played in the US would be on TV during European primetime. That would make the TV contract very lucrative since the snobby Euros don't have to miss work to watch the games.

Posted by: therealfootball | October 1, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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