Why the United States Will Host the 2022 World Cup

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IOctober 19, 2010

USA Soccer President Sunil Gulati, USA captain Carlos Bocanegra and FIFA President Sepp Blatter during the presentation of the United States bid book for the 2022 World Cup
USA Soccer President Sunil Gulati, USA captain Carlos Bocanegra and FIFA President Sepp Blatter during the presentation of the United States bid book for the 2022 World CupRoss Kinnaird/Getty Images

Never considered a nation that was big in soccer, FIFA made a very risky decision in July of 1988 when they decided to give the United States the right to host the 1994 World Cup.

Before this decision was made, the United States national team had not qualified for a World Cup since 1950. And despite the success of NASL during the mid-1970s, soccer was not a mainstream sport.

But, the United States was able to qualify for the 1990 World Cup, and once the 1994 World Cup came, the U.S. was able to put together a fantastic tournament.

Overall, a record 3,587,538 people went to this World Cup over just 52 matches, averaging a staggering 68,991 people per each match.

The United States national team was also able to reach the Round of 16 and was able to win their first World Cup match in 44 years over Colombia.

The World Cup was able to propel soccer into the American mainstream media, and a domestic football league, Major League Soccer, was created.

In the last 16 years, soccer inside of the United States has grown tremendously.

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Major League Soccer has witnessed an expansion from 10 original franchises to 19 franchises as of the beginning of the 2011 MLS season.

Along with this, MLS has also seen stars such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez come to the league during the last couple of years, joining American internationals such as Landon Donovan and Robbie Findley.

Outside of MLS, American internationals have now ventured over to Europe, where in many cases they have become starters in the Premier League and the German Bundesliga.

Thanks in large part to the better talent that surrounds the American game, the United States was able to reach the quarterfinals in 2002, and the Round of 16 in 2010 after winning their group in the World Cup for the first time since 1930.

This does not include the 2009 Confederations Cup, in which the United States were able to reach the final after defeating European Cup champion Spain 2-0 before losing 3-2 to Brazil.

In response to the success that the United States has had since the 1994 World Cup, U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati submitted a bid to FIFA for the United States to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Overall, the United States found themselves against bids from Australia, England, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Qatar, Russia and South Korea for single bids, and combined bids from Belgium/Netherlands and Portugal/Spain.

Indonesia and Mexico both withdrew their bids early in the bidding process.

Overall, the United States found themselves as the bid that would have the highest capacity for its fans, and Gulati has given this impression as the next major step to make soccer big in the United States.

The U.S. also found themselves as the only non-European entry in the 2018 World Cup until several days ago when the U.S. took themselves out of the bid to focus solely on the 2022 World Cup.

By doing this, the 2018 World Cup will be hosted by a European nation with the remaining four bids for 2018 all European nations, while the United States will contest themselves as the sole non-Asian bid for the 2022 World Cup.

However, when one looks at the United States' bid, they have to realize that the United States should host the 2022 World Cup.

To start this off, here is a look at the opposing four bids that the United States finds themselves against in the 2022 World Cup.

Australia

The Australian bid is the strongest potential bid to face the United States for 2022.

Overall, many of the stadiums that would be used for this World Cup are all existing, and despite the fact that upgrades would be needed at many of the stadiums, they should all be able to be ready for the World Cup.

However, the Australian bid has some major problems in front of it.

The first part is that many stadiums that could have been used during the World Cup are venues that are used by cricket, rugby league and Australian rules football, all of which will lots of money if the World Cup comes to Australia due to rules that do not allow other sports to use the stadiums that would be for the World Cup.

The next major problem for Australia is its location. All of the matches that will be played will come at an inconvenient time for Europe and the Americans to watch.

And now, there is the corruption scandal that involves Oceania's Federation president Reynald Temarii and Nigeria's Amos Amadu allegedly dealing with the transfer of votes for the United States to host the 2018 World Cup (even though the Americans previously withdrew from hosting the World Cup in 2018).

Supposedly, both of the voters would vote for Australia to host the 2022 World Cup.

Going forward, Australia might be the United States' biggest opponent to host the World Cup, but it must hope that the corruption scandal doesn't cause significant damage to their bid.

Japan

Japan's bid has a feature that would have 3-D holographic display technology to show the game virtually inside of stadiums all throughout the world.

With this technology, hundreds of millions of fans will get to see games in the third-dimension without the use of 3-D glasses for people to wear.

In order to power this technology, solar panels will be put on top of the stadiums to allow the holograms to work.

However, the technology that has been promised in this bid does not exist, and Japanese researchers have claimed it would take 12 years for everything to be ready, which would be the same amount of time from 2010 to 2022.

Japan have two major factors that will work against them: the lack of having a 80,000 seat stadium for the final, and the fact that Japan hosted the World Cup in 2002.

Japan had a plan to have a 100,000-seat stadium in Tokyo for the 2016 Olympics, but those plans are no longer in use due to Rio de Janeiro winning the bid.

Currently, Japan's biggest stadium is the International Stadium in Yokohama, the same stadium that hosted the 2002 World Cup final. Currently, the capacity at the stadium is at 72,327.

Due to those two major factors, Japan is one of the two true long shots to win the bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar

In Qatar's World Cup bid, they plan to create the most advanced stadiums of all time by putting in a cooling system in the outdoor stadiums.

Along with that, the stadiums all have fantastic and futuristic designs that could eventually be the basis for which future football stadiums are designed after.

And, the bid plans to use the World Cup as a way to bridge the gap between the western world and the Middle East.

Sepp Blatter has also stated his support for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, stating the great infrastructure inside of the country and the fact that the Middle East has never hosted the World Cup.

But despite all of the good that could happen in Qatar, there are some major problems with their plan.

The first problem deals with Qatar's size. Qatar would be not only the smallest nation in terms of size to ever host the World Cup, but it also would be the smallest nation in terms of population to host the World Cup.

The closest nation to Qatar in these categories was Uruguay in 1930, which was a bigger nation in size and its population in 1930 (approximately 1.75 million) was larger than Qatar is today.

The next major issue involves the consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol is legal in Qatar, but it is heavily restricted, with the exposure of alcohol or being drunk in public both illegal.

The bid committee has already stated that specific fan-zones would be used to sell alcohol to the fans.

But, FIFA would certainly lose money from potential alcoholic sales if the World Cup is played there.

Overall, Qatar can certainly host the World Cup, but their bid is just as strong as Australia's right now and they will certainly need some time to get all of the bugs worked out of its program.

South Korea

The final bid for the 2022 World Cup, South Korea are a nation that along with Japan, is looking to host its second-ever World Cup after combining with the Japanese to host the 2002 World Cup.

In South Korea's plan, they want to promote world peace, assuming that tensions with North Korea will dissolve in the next decade.

Overall, South Korea will need to do very little work on their stadiums for this World Cup due to the fact that many of the stadium were built for use in the 2002 World Cup.

But, despite what South Korea has proposed, they (along with Japan) are the two most improbable nations to win the World Cup.

However, regardless what South Korea has said about the reunification process with North Korea, we are still completely unsure if it will happen.

Despite the future power change that is believed to happen between current leader Kim Jong-il to his youngest son Kim Jong-un, no one knows if Kim Jong-un will be like his father and grandfather, or if he will open North Korea up to the world.

And again, there is the fact that South Korea hosted the World Cup in 2002, a feature that will end South Korea's chances of hosting the World Cup.

At the end of the day, there is one final problem that exists within all four Asian bids; the 2026 World Cup.

Already, China has expressed interest in hosting the 2026 World Cup, and it has been reported that India will use the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi as a way to launch a bid for the 2026 World Cup.

These two countries are the countries with the highest populations in the world, and have been relatively untapped in terms of football.

In each nation's history in the World Cup, China was able to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, but left the World Cup pointless and without a goal while India qualified for the 1950 World Cup, but did not participate due to a rule that banned bare-foot play.

Overall, the NBA has been able to make basketball extremely popular in China, going as far to have offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

And the NBA is now starting to get itself established inside of India and can easily replicate its success in China if India can produce a superstar such as Yao Ming to play in America.

Due to this, FIFA knows that these two countries are huge markets for football and having a World Cup in either of these countries would bring in lots of money for FIFA.

Having a World Cup in China or India could easily eclipse the numbers that were established by the United States from 1994.

Due to this, FIFA wants the World Cup in China or India, and they want to have it happen sooner than later.

They (FIFA) certainly remember the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and how successful it was despite all of the problems that China faced before the start of the Olympics.

This also showed that China can host a major event despite the restrictions of media by the Communist government.

And because all four nations bidding against the United States are all members of the Asian Football Confederation, all four bids have a major hurdle to clear in China and India's interest for the 2026 World Cup.

Now, United States fans will have to wait until Dec. 2 to find out that they will in all-likelihood host the World Cup in 2022 in what will be one of the greatest days in American soccer history.