Wednesday, August 23, 2017

England set to pull out of 2022 World Cup race

SoccerNews in English Premier League, MLS 29 Sep 2010

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England will withdraw its candidature to host the 2022 World Cup if, as expected, the United States drops its bid for the 2018 event, a top official said on Tuesday.

England, Russia, and the United States, plus joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands are all still in the running for both 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar have already declared their intention to concentrate only on 2022.

If the United States pulled out from the 2018 race, they would face no European opposition for the next World Cup as no one continent can stage successive finals.

“We are sure it won’t be long before the United States will withdraw from 2018 leaving themselves a run on 2022,” said David Dein, the international president of England’s bid.

“We are not really interested in 2022, consequently we will almost certainly withdraw from 2022, leaving us with a European battle.”

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said earlier this month they would withdraw from the 2018 race if asked by either FIFA president Sepp Blatter or Michel Platini, head of European football governing body UEFA.

England have staged the World Cup just once, in 1966, when they won the tournament for the only time in their history and the last occasions the global showpiece took place in Europe was in Germany in 2006.

FIFA’s 24-man executive committee votes on both the 2018 and 2022 tournament hosts in Zurich on December 2.

Gulati has already acknowledged that Europe seemed to have the inside track on 2018.

“I acknowledge, and we have really from the beginning, that there is a sentiment with a number of members of (FIFA’s executive committee) that 2018 should be in Europe,” Gulati said earlier this month as FIFA inspected the US bid.

“If at some point between now and December 2 we think it’s in our best interest to (withdraw), after consultation with the FIFA president or the UEFA president, then we would make that decision.”

The next World Cup will take place in Brazil in 2014.

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