Thursday, December 2, 2010
The United States Soccer Federation will be departing Zurich, Switzerland with long faces after FIFA announced the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
The US was viewed as one of the strongest finalists in addition to the Middle Eastern country and Australia.
The announcement was made this afternoon in front of dignitaries of all nations including former US president Bill Clinton.
For the last two years US Soccer and the Go USA Bid Committee, headed by former Univision president David Downs and USSF president Sunil Gulati, have traveled the globe lobbying to respective FIFA voters.
Apparently that was not enough to persuade the 22 FIFA voters who got to cast a ballot.
Japan, Korea and Australia were all eliminated in earlier rounds of voting with only the US and Qatar reaching the final round.
Qatar defeated the US in the final round of voting 14-8.
Qatar will now host the world's most celebrated sporting event in seven cities with 12 different stadiums that have yet to be constructed.
Entering the final ballot, the risk of intense heat and tournament security were seen as Qatar's biggest drawbacks however the oil-rich country has promised air-conditioned stadiums and enhanced protection for all fans and teams.
As for the US, it is unclear whether a bid for the 2026 World Cup will be made as FIFA have yet to indicate when bidding for that tournament will begin.