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US Soccer President Sunil Gulati Criticizes FIFA World Cup Bidding Process

sunil gulati US Soccer President Sunil Gulati Criticizes FIFA World Cup Bidding Process

US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati has criticized the bidding process for the FIFA World Cup 2022, and has called for more transparency and better communication to help improve the process in future years.

Gulati was speaking with the Associated Press, where he said:

“The process needs to be far more transparent as far as what matters. What’s OK. What’s within the rules and what’s not.

“In my view, if you’re going to have a technical part of the bid, the technical part should be given some weight.

“If you’re going to send people around and do an analysis of stadiums and conditions and government commitments and all of that, then that should have a significant role in final bid process.

“If it’s only about going to new frontiers, OK. But let’s know that going in.

“If it’s about maximizing revenue, let’s know that going in. Whatever. I think that needs to be far more clear.”

The controversy regarding FIFA World Cup 2022 continued last week when a source revealed that FIFA is seriously considering changing the date of the 2022 summer World Cup to November-December 2022.

Gulati is a recent addition to the FIFA Executive Committee, and has expressed an interest in having the US bid for the 2026 World Cup despite speculation that China is an almost sure bet to host the tournament.

Gulati’s criticism is on point, but whether or not he’ll have the influence to help influence change among the powers that be within the FIFA Executive Committee remains to be seen. But he’s saying all the right things so far.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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17 Responses to US Soccer President Sunil Gulati Criticizes FIFA World Cup Bidding Process

  1. David says:

    How would China be a lock being that they’re from the same confederation as Qatar? Not allowed to have back-to-back World Cups in the same confederation.

  2. Mike says:

    Here’s the reason the US didn’t get the World Cup and why we’re not going to get the World Cup in the foreseeable future:

    Lack of promotion and relegation! FIFA made that explicitly clear when they gave 2022 to Qatar. So, let’s focus on joining the rest of the world and fixing this before even thinking about hosting another World Cup.

    • krazymunky says:

      So they are willing to choose a corruption riddled football federation over one with no promotion/relegation?.

  3. Ivan says:

    FIFA is the most corrupt international organization on the history of mankind.

    Everyone knows that Qatari oil money bought the WC for them despite the availability of a grand total of 2 football stadiums in a country with non-existent football tradition, and 130 degree summer weather.

    An absolute travesty…Blatter & his posse are a group of ruthless criminals that do a fantastic job in filling up their own pockets at the expense of the beautiful game…

  4. CTBlues says:

    Having the the WC in the November/December is going to hurt the TV ratings in the US. You have the college football regular season winding down/conference championship games and the NFL season is getting to crunch time determining playoff teams most likely. Combine that with the games being on at stupid O’clock because of the time difference. Will Fox do what NBC does with the Olympics and show the games live then reair them during prime time? Do you think Fox will show a WC match over say X Factor or American Idle?

  5. Frill Artist says:

    I definitely won’t be watching. FIFA can go f**k themselves for all I care.

  6. Dean Stell says:

    Obviously, Gulati hasn’t had his brainworm installed yet…..or (more accurately) he hasn’t yet gotten to be part of the investigative committee that FIFA sends to check out the bidding nations (and receive the perks of the office while he is there).

    He is obviously correct in what he’s saying though. If the plan is to put the WC in a new location one cycle, it would be nice for the other locations to know that and not bother with the expense of bidding. But, that would rob FIFA members of all the swanky trips to check out all the locations.

    • sucka99 says:

      Exactly. It’s nice that Gulati found a backbone now, a year after the bidding travesty. But I expect that to go away very soon. Especially since he comes across as just as slimy as all those FIFA cronies.

      • IU Gonzo says:

        I’m not sure what you mean about Gulati finding a backbone after the bidding travesty. The bidding was in December of 2010 while Gulati wasn’t elected to the FIFA ExCo until this past April. He was hardly in a position to influence from inside the ExCo as 1) he wasn’t on the FIFA Exco yet; and 2) he was the chair of the USA bid for 2022.

        • sucka99 says:

          Doesn’t mean he couldn’t have said anything. Obviously he’s just as politically motivated and power hungry as the rest of them.

    • krazymunky says:

      he hasnt yet received his brown bag of cash

  7. Smokey Bacon says:

    He clearly hadn’t received his briefcase full of money when he made these remarks.

    The US has about as much chance of staging a World Cup as England at this point. Only a spectacular disaster in Qatar followed by Blatter and his cronies resignations will change that.

    The English FA finally got the message when they were humiliated in the last round of bidding. Gulati should resign now before they make him look a fool too.

  8. IanCransonsKnees says:

    To be honest it doesn’t bother me as international football is dull and boring. I’m more annoyed that it’ll interrupt the regular season.

    Moving it to winter also allows FIFA to flex the muscles in relation to UEFA. Personally a European boycott would suit me as we end up seeing the best of the best in league or European competition anyway. 6 weeks in the desert isn’t going to do anyone any favours.

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