In less than 12 hours, millions and millions of soccer fans worldwide will be glued to their televisions anxiously waiting to find out which countries will host the 2018 & 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Throughout the United States millions of soccer fans will congregate to their local establishments and their Major League Soccer team’s host party in hopes that the United States beats out Qatar, Australia, South Korea and Japan for the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati, President Bill Clinton, actor Morgan Freeman and United States standout player Landon Donovan making their final presentation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, millions worldwide will now have to wait for the voting results.
"We are pleased we had this final opportunity to make our case to the FIFA Executive Committee and I'm extremely appreciative of the special efforts of President Clinton, Morgan Freeman and Landon Donovan in helping us make that case. We look forward to a decision tomorrow,” expressed Sunil Gulati.
The voting will take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Thursday, Dec. 2, and the process will be as follows:
The 2018 vote will take place first, then the 2022 one. The vote will be by secret ballot and all eligible members of the FIFA Executive Committee can vote in both ballots. To win the right to host the competition, a bidder must obtain an absolute majority (50 percent plus one) of the votes of the FIFA Executive Committee members present.
In the event of a tie when only two bidders remain, the FIFA President will have the casting vote. For any voting round in which an absolute majority is not achieved, the bidder with the lowest number of votes will not progress to the next voting round.
If there is a tie for the lowest number of votes in any round, an intermediate voting round will be conducted to determine which of the tied bidders does not progress. When the final decision on the host has been taken, the result will be put in two envelopes and taken by the notary to the "Messe Zurich," where they will be handed over to the FIFA President for the announcements.
To be honest, I hope the United States wins the 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. When the United States was awarded the 1994 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 1988, many critics believed that the United States had no business to host the World Cup. At the time, the North American Soccer League no longer existed and Major League Soccer had yet to exist.
If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, the last time the United States Men’s National Team competed in the World Cup was in 1950 when that team played the game of their lives as they pulled possibly the greatest upset 1-0 win over the powerful English National Team.
When the 1994 FIFA World Cup took place in the United States, 3.5 million spectators filled the nine stadiums used nationwide. As a result, the ’94 World Cup remains the most successful event in FIFA History.
Sixteen years later, the United States has Major League Soccer, which completed its 15th season and has 18 teams for the 2011 season. Along with MLS, the Men’s National Team has become a powerhouse in CONCACAF where they constantly battle Mexico for CONCACAF supremacy.
While the U.S. Men’s team has been improving, the Women’s team has demonstrated to be one of the best teams in the planet as they won the World Cup in 1991 and 1999. Not only is soccer the most played sport in the United States, it’s beginning to catch up on the NBA and the NHL on attendance.
Winning the 2022 World Cup would be marvelous and a testament of how the United States has evolved into a Soccer Nation. Today you have citizens of different backgrounds that actually root for the National Team.
That wasn’t the case in 1994 but after the patriotism demonstrated in the 2010 World Cup, as evidenced that the United States purchased the most tickets for South Africa’s World Cup, perhaps the tide has turned. A World Cup here would bring in $400 million to $600 million to any hosting city.
I believe if the 2022 World Cup takes place in the United States, we will have a National Team capable of winning the Cup as well as a competitive Major League Soccer that this country’s citizens can be proud off. Before I continue to look that far ahead, I’m going to return to reality and await for the decision.