2018 Cup and Other U.S. Notes
USSF President Sunil Gulati plans to meet with FIFA leadership in Toyko this weekend to discuss parameters for bidding to host the 2018 World Cup. Upon his return, "we will review the issues internally" and determine by the end of March whether to go forward with a formal bid, Gulati said.
In my opinion, although several nations have expressed interest in staging the Cup, realistically, a European nation (or co-nations) and the United States would be the early front-runners. But before committing time, personnel and resources to the bid process, the USSF must determine whether it has a fair chance to be awarded hosting rights or if the entire process is clearly being geared toward identifying a European site. If it is indeed the latter, perhaps they would be better served looking ahead to 2022.
Meantime, Gulati tells me that.....
*.....he is optimistic the USSF will be able to schedule U.S. national team friendlies in late May and early June in Europe against countries preparing for Euro '08.
*.....the process for determining home sites and stadiums for World Cup qualifiers this summer and fall will begin to take shape after the dates and home-away designations for the semifinal round are determined by CONCACAF and FIFA this weekend.
*.....he "does not anticipate any issues" with the U.S. government in gaining clearance for the U.S. team to play at Cuba in the semifinal round. As for U.S. supporters making the trip, "that would probably be very hard."
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