1. Home
  2. Sports
  3. Soccer
  4. FIFA World Cup Inspectors Tour New

FIFA World Cup Inspectors Tour New York

FIFA's World Cup inspectors were in New York City Tuesday (September 7), the first of their three-day tour of potential stadiums and facilities for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.  FIFA's executive committee votes on both
PTI September 08, 2010 15:44 IST
PTI
FIFA's World Cup inspectors were in New York City Tuesday (September 7), the first of their three-day tour of potential stadiums and facilities for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.  

FIFA's executive committee votes on both hosts December 2nd, and the U.S. is the eighth of nine stops on the tour. Europe is expected to be awarded the 2018 tournament, with England, Russia, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands competing.

The U.S. is up against Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea for 2022. The American bid is likely to be boosted by China's interest in hosting in 2026 - FIFA rules specify consecutive World Cups can't be on the same continent, meaning an Asian host in 2022 would eliminate China as a 2026 site.  

Chilean football federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls is heading the six-man delegation.  After a dinner with New YOrk City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday night, the delegation began their busy schedule of touring some of US bid's proposed facilities on Tuesday.

The delegation will visit just five of the 18 US cities in the bid because of time constraints: New York/New Jersey, Washington, Miami, Dallas and Houston.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati described what the bid was trying to show the delegation.  

U.S. officials are eager to show off their two newest venues, the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, possible sites for the opener and the final.

The delegation also visited the recently completed Red Bulls Arena, one of the crown jewels of Major League Soccer (MLS).  MLS began play in 1996, two years after the 1994 World Cup sparked a fervour for the game that had previously been largely unseen in the US.

Gulati said a second World Cup in the U.S. - and up to 11 years of buildup - would even further accelerate soccer's growth in the States.  FIFA has devoted increasing resources to the U.S. market since large crowds attended football matches at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Gulati also said Tuesday that while the U.S. remained in the bidding for 2018, it would consider withdrawing if asked to by FIFA president Sepp Blatter or Union of European Football Associations president Michel Platini.  

The delegation will attend a breakfast at the White House on Wednesday morning before continuing their whirlwind tour of Washington, Miami, Dallas and Houston.  Mayne-Nicholls' group, who finish their tour in Qatar next week, said it will submit its technical report to FIFA by November. AP