US Stresses Diversity in Bid to Host 2022 Wcup

Chris Lehourites, WTOP-FM (Washington, D.C.), December 1, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton stressed the diversity of the United States in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, telling the FIFA executive committee on Wednesday that “we can fill a stadium with home-nation rooters.”

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The United States is competing with Australia, South Korea, Qatar and Japan for the right to host the 2022 World Cup. FIFA will vote on the 2018 and ’22 tournaments on Thursday.

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“It’s important that all the teams who come to any World Cup venue feel that they, too, are playing at home, not just for people watching on television,” Clinton said. “I tell everyone maybe America’s best claim to this World Cup is that we have the only nation you can put the World Cup that can guarantee no matter who makes the final, we can fill a stadium with home-nation rooters.”

[Morgan] Freeman invoked the name of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who helped bring the 2010 World Cup to that nation. {snip}

“We are now the most diverse nation on earth,” Freeman said. “And our patchwork heritage is our greatest strength.”

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The World Cup bid team noted that no infrastructure needs to be built to host the tournament in the U.S. The Americans also highlighted the growth of soccer in the country since it hosted the 1994 World Cup.

The biggest thing that could sway voters toward the American bid is the potential money-making prospect of having the World Cup in the United States. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati went to lengths to show the voters how much could be made.

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