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Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Qatar's World Cup bid concerns FIFA

By Steve Goff

According to FIFA evaluations, Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup is of "high risk" from an operational standpoint, an assessment that should boost the American efforts to win hosting rights to the tournament. FIFA's executive committee will select the sites of the 2018 and '22 World Cups on Dec. 2 in Zurich.

In documents filed by FIFA's inspection team, Qatar is a high risk in team facilities, a medium risk in seven other categories, including stadium construction, transportation and accommodations. Overall, FIFA listed Qatar's operations as "high risk."

All other 2022 candidates -- USA, South Korea, Japan and Australia -- are considered low risk. Among the 2018 bids, Russia is a medium risk, while England, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium are low risk.

FIFA's concerns about the USA bid focus on ground transportation, government guarantees and legal risk.

In the overall summary released early this week, FIFA cited Qatar's unsafe temperature in June and July, when the tournament would be held. Despite its small size and population, Qatar has emerged as a strong candidate, supported by plans for innovative stadium design and FIFA's interest in bringing the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.

Meantime, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that the league and its marketing arm are donating $2 million to the USA bid effort. Also, the Insider has learned that Landon Donovan, the national team's career scoring leader, will fly to Zurich and join the U.S. delegation prior to FIFA's vote. Former president Bill Clinton will participate in the USA's presentation to FIFA on Dec. 1.

In its report, FIFA also said that, given the capacity of the stadiums proposed, Los Angeles (Rose Bowl), Dallas (Cowboys Stadium), Washington (FedEx Field) and New York (Meadowlands) are the only venues that could host the opening match or final.

By Steve Goff  | November 19, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  FIFA, USA World Cup bid  | Tags:  FIFA, World Cup  
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I'm puzzled by "legal risk." What does that mean? Is it, as it seems to me, inversely related to freedom?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, do you know if there will be television coverage in the U.S. of the voting and announcement? Olympics junkies get that, and now I want to be up at an early hour so that if Qatar beats the U.S. I can riot before work.

Posted by: atlemar | November 19, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I think it has something to do with the death penalty.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 19, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse


I only want TV coverage if it's Bob, Alexi, and Maca. And to have Bob ask the question - "What is the national team and the nation thinking right now?"

Alexi - "You're pumped - you wake up as a little kid and hope to be able to host the greatest sporting event on earth".

Steve - "Well, no one else is awake yet, so I imagine they don't really care. Not to mention, that tournament's future star and golden boot winner is only 8-10 years old."

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 19, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what MLS' $2 million is supposed to buy. That's some serious change, even for first-class flights and hotels, glossy brochures and a nice PowerPoint.

Perhaps MLS could use some of that money to hype up some announcement viewing convince FIFA that there will be video of Americans screaming in joyful ecstasy and lots of confetti and/or balloons. A Times Square event maybe?

@VABB -- nice line about Alexi.. Spot on impression. As for the Golden Boot winner - he's probably getting ready for his bar mitzvah...Aahh, who am I kidding? It's a big step-up from Yossi Benayoun to a World Cup Golden Boot winner.

Posted by: fischy | November 19, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So a new 70k seat stadium in LA for an NFL team wouldn't be big enough to host the final? I guess we got the final last time, so we'll let NY or DC get the final next time.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | November 19, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It'd have to be NY Final, right? A billion bucks for a stadium . . . right outside NY City?

Just don't tell FIFA about the heat and humidity.

Posted by: delantero | November 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@CACuzcatlan -- What LA stadium do you mean? Once there's a commitment to build one, assuming it's more like 80k, it'll be in the running. Ditto for any stadium DC builds to replace RFK. If that turns out to be an enclosed stadium, it would move to the top of the list. If you think it'll be fun going there, just imagine the current TSA searches and security lines x10.

Posted by: fischy | November 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for Blatter to come up with some BS about how much he loves Australia.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | November 19, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The vote announcement itself will be on one of the ESPN outlets, News or 3, can't remember which. As for the presentation, I don't know.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 19, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

FYI--the Senate just passed the FIFA resolution.

Posted by: Louise9 | November 19, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

What is "the FIFA resolution"?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 19, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

It's a resolution that basically declares Congress's intent to support the World Cup should the US bid be successful by passing any necessary laws and ensuring the executive branch follows though on any actions it needs to take.

Posted by: Louise9 | November 19, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Senate passed it. Just don't tell the House about all the foreigners who will arrive to force their type of football down our throats. And (shudder) some of those athletes may be from Iran and North Korea.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 19, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately for all, the House passed it on Thursday! H.Con.Res 327

Posted by: Louise9 | November 19, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately for all, the House passed it on Thursday! H.Con.Res. 327

Posted by: Louise9 | November 19, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

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