Tuesday, February 27, 2007

US wants 2018 World Cup

Just as England was getting ready to pick their mascot for the 2018 finals, word comes that the young upstart known as America wants to cool their plans.

US Soccer has voted to explore a 2018 World Cup bid, setting the stage for a possible showdown between the two countries. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who played a major role in the 1994 World Cup, wants to make magic happen twice., but it will not be easy.

If all goes as planned, the World Cup will not be in Europe for 2010 or 2014. To ask those in Europe to travel off their home continent for a third consecutive final might just be too much to ask.

However, there is one factor that might make it easy for FIFA's to ask so much out of the Europeans, money. The 1994 World Cup is still the best attended in history and made everyone involved huge amounts of profit, and the US has only improved their spacious, luxury box filled stadiums since.

Add to it that it will have been over 20-years since the finals were played in CONCACAF and you might just have the makings of an upset.

That said, at least one person is suggesting that the true goal for US Soccer is 2014, not 2018. As the theory goes, the US would not look good if they made a play for 2014, which has been promised to South America (ie Brazil), but they know, like everyone else, the problems Brazil is facing when it comes to stadiums (they don't have any the meet FIFA's standards). So the idea is they get their house in order as far as plans and venues and raise their profile. If things don't go well in Brazil, FIFA turns to the US as a plan B, much the way they turned to Mexico in 1986 when Columbia* abandoned the cup.

But enough of the conspiracy talk, 2018 is shaping up to be an interesting race. If this all holds out, we could see two great bids from the US and England not to mention the possibility of a strong bid from Australia (and maybe a few others). It should be fun to watch it all unfold between now and 2012 when the host will be announced.

* edit - originally put down Venezuela instead of Columbia. Oops.

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Blogger Brian said...

Columbia had it's World Cup moved to Mexico in 1986, not Venezuela.

7:04 AM  

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