[WORLD CUP 2022] Despite being the USA being only contender for the 2022 World Cup to get a 100 percent rating in the FIFA-commissioned “World Cup Host Candidate Report,” the FIFA executive committee voted to give the tournament to Qatar. For reactions from Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president and bid committee chairman ...
“We had a great bid and I think we’ve told a great story that is accurate about American soccer,” said Gulati. “We’re disappointed for our committee, for the millions of fans that got behind the bid, and everyone that’s been involved, the cities around the country, starting at the White House and President Clinton, who has been fantastic. There’s no other response or feeling that you are going to have in such a situation other than sharp disappointment.”
Voting went four rounds, with Qatar getting the most votes in each round while the USA received three, five, six in the first three rounds, respectively, before losing 14-8 to Qatar in the final round.
"It is clear and it has been widely reported over the past several months that there was the possibility of some alliances and the numbers would seem to bear that out," Gulati said. “Whether that’s independent of those supposed alliances or related to them I don’t know.
“It’s also clear that in the first, the second and maybe even the third round, certainly in our case, there was some tactical voting. And what I mean by that, groups using a vote or two to make sure someone else wasn’t eliminated in order to get some help later on.
“We knew that going in, which explains some of the odd vote patterns in our case.”
The vote in favor of Qatar took place after Russia prevailed to land the 2018 World Cup.
"It's politics, it's friendships and relationships, it's alliances, it's tactics," Gulati said. "There are far too many permutations, especially with two World Cups being decided on the same day, and I am not smart enough to figure out how all those played out in these two elections.”
Asked if the voting process should be reevaluated by FIFA, Gulati said:
“I am sure FIFA is going to evaluate this process. The President [Sepp Blatter] has said in retrospect that they shouldn’t have done two (World Cup bids) at the same time and given some of the other things that have happened along the way, I am sure they are going to review. But that’s up to FIFA and not something I am going to comment on today.”