U.S. say rules need to change before any new World Cup bid

Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:50am EDT
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By Keith Weir

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States would not bid again to host soccer's World Cup unless the rules were changed to clarify how the tournament is awarded, the head of the U.S. Soccer Federation said on Wednesday.

The Americans, who hosted the tournament in 1994, were one of the four countries who lost out to tiny Qatar in the contest to stage the 2022 finals and there had been speculation that they would bid again for the next tournament, underlining the country's status as a growing influence in the game.

However, USSF president Sunil Gulati, who is also on the FIFA executive committee, said: "The rules need to change, the procedures need to be very different from they are now."

Gulati said the Americans would not bid if the main aim was, for example, to take the sport to new markets as in the case of Qatar. He also said there needed to be clarity on the rotation policy between different parts of the world.

"The rules need to be clearer, tighter. The process need to be better," he told the Leaders in Football Conference.

Should the U.S. go ahead with a bid for the 2026 World Cup, Mexican League President Decio De Maria said his country could play a role. "Do it with some Mexican cities there," he said in a panel discussion with Gulati.

FIFA is reviewing whether to move the 2022 tournament to winter from its normal June-July slot because of the unforgiving heat in Qatar's summer.

The governing body has been criticized for failing to take the heat into account when the tournament was awarded, raising broader concerns about a lack of transparency in the bidding process.   Continued...

U.S. forward Landon Donovan (10) is mobbed by teammates after scoring against Guatemala on a penalty kick in the second half during their friendly soccer match in San Diego, California July 5, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake