USA drops out of '18 race

[WORLD CUP 2018/22 BIDS] As expected, the USA has withdrawn its bid to host the 2018 World Cup -- which will go to one of the four European bidders -- and focus on its 2022 bid. The USA is given a good chance of winning the 2022 bid in which it is competing against Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.

“For some time we have been in conversations with FIFA and UEFA about the possibility of focusing only on the 2022 bidding process, an option we have made reference to many times,” said Sunil Gulati, Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “We are confident this is in the best interests of the USA bid.”

The USA's decision means the 2018 World Cup host will be Belgium/Netherlands, England, Portugal/Spain or Russia. Since countries from the same continent cannot host two times in a row, the losers of the 2018 bid will be ineligible to bid for the 2022 World Cup.

“We have had an open and constructive dialogue with the USA bid for some time now, after it became apparent that there was a growing movement to stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Europe,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke. “The announcement today by the USA Bid to focus solely on the 2022 FIFA World Cup is therefore a welcome gesture which is much appreciated by FIFA.”

The FIFA Executive Committee will discuss the final voting process for the selection of the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups at its next meetings on Oct. 28-29.

“We wanted to make the announcement now – still 48 days before the final decision – in order to make our intentions clear during the last part of our campaign,” added Gulati. “This also enables FIFA to finalize the selection procedures during its upcoming executive committee meeting.”

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