Connect with us

American Soccer

Will FIFA Bribery Scandal Endanger US Bid?

A general view shows FIFA headquarters, the Home of FIFA, in Zurich October 20, 2010. FIFA will begin an investigation on Wednesday into allegations of vote-selling by two members of its executive committee in the contest to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and that bidding nations may have colluded. Tahitian Reynald Temarii and Nigerian Amos Adamu will be summoned as the ethics committee probes allegations they offered to sell their votes when approached by Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists for an American consortium. Picture taken with a fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

When the United States dropped its bid for the 2018 World Cup, it was seen as a move to placate FIFA’s desire to have the World Cup held that year in soccer’s birthplace (literally, if England wins the bid).  By doing so, it also allowed the U.S. to be seen as the prohibitive favorite to win the 2022 bid when the vote is held December 2, in part due to a weak pool that includes Australia, Japan, Qatar, and South Korea.  However, FIFA’s bribery scandal may alter the playing field just enough that it could potentially endanger the U.S.’s front runner status.

To recap, two members of the FIFA executive committee were caught on tape by British journalists asking for outright bribes to support certain countries’ World Cup bids.  As of right now, these are the only two who have been caught, but reports by the The Guardian have FIFA’s executive committee unsure of what this week’s vote on the selection process will look like.  While the British press loves sensational journalism, I think it is safe to say that FIFA is a bit of a mess right now.  There have been no public reports that FIFA will definitely postpone its December 2 vote to select the 2018 and 2022 sites, but the possibility exists if the bribery scandal reaches further than currently known.  The final site vote could be delayed a few weeks, or just one site vote could be delayed while the other proceeds.

What does this mean for the U.S. bid?  As I said, right now the U.S. bid is allegedly far and away the front runner for the World Cup in 2022.  We have the money, infrastructure, and media attention to make another United States World Cup very lucrative for FIFA.  But what if the vote is delayed due to this scandal?  Would an extra few weeks seed doubts in the minds of the executive committee, especially if there are other guilty committee members?  The 2018 World Cup has a good chance of also being a lucrative and guaranteed financial success, especially if it takes place in England or Spain/Portugal.  Maybe this puts into the committee’s mind that the 2022 World Cup doesn’t need to be a slam-dunk site, and the U.S. can wait four more years.  Or maybe there is some other unforeseen situation that could pop up in December that could make the committee pause about awarding the World Cup to the U.S.

I am not saying it is a likely scenario that the U.S. loses the 2022 bid, even if they delay the vote.  But it’s like a soccer match, when the winning manager is constantly eying the clock even when ahead by a good margin.  All managers know crazy things can happen towards the end and it’s is better to quit while ahead.  So let’s hope FIFA votes on December 2 and this country can begin to gear up for the World Cup in 12 years.

Agree?  Disagree?  Share your thoughts below or on Twitter @roberthayjr.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
  • Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more



  1. Dave C

    October 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    “the American market for soccer it is not the most attractive for FIFA, not even financially like many like to think ”

    What makes you say that?

    • Charles

      October 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      the US market IS the most attactive for FIFA…without a doubt.

      Both for the WCups and long term growth of $$$

      • Andrew

        October 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        Have you taken a look at Asia recently??

  2. sergio lima

    October 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Everybody knew that an European country would get it in 2018. The problem for USA now is that if the country is not hosting 2022 it will take forever to get another one. 2026 and 2030 are pretty much committed already, so, if FIFA for any reason does not embrace the American bid for 2022, what I still believe will end up happening, then, probably, only in 2034, twenty four years from today and forty years since 94. But what the American public needs to understand is that the American market for soccer it is not the most attractive for FIFA, not even financially like many like to think and this is not an oppinion, it is an information.

  3. GaryD

    October 29, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I can guarantee that FIFA is not corrupt in the same way that the IOC is not corrupt. Oh wait…

  4. Andrew

    October 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    What’s making me uneasy is the fact that we had the WC 16 years ago and we are up against australia and qatar who have never had it!!

    • Charles

      October 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

      I hear what you are saying Andrew, but this is not going to be a decision based entirely on fairness….understatement of the century.

      When Seattle had the Kingdome, they got the final game of the NCAA basketball tourney, as often as rules would allow….why ? Money of course.

      US will crush it moneywise, there is no way for a country like Australia to overcome that IMO. IF I were a betting man, I say the US is the first country to get it three times.

      Makes me a little sick too…sort of. Maybe we look at it as the US has 300+ million people, so should Europe as a whole with less than that ( I am guessing ) or Australia with a fraction of that get it as much as the US ?

      Then we play it in China every third time 😉

      • Dave C

        October 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

        “the US has 300+ million people, so should Europe as a whole with less than that ( I am guessing ) or Australia with a fraction of that get it as much as the US ?”

        FYI, the population of Europe is actually over 700m according to wikipedia.

        • Charles

          October 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

          I will stick to being an expert on Soccer. 😉

          My point stands, Europe gets it every other four 4 cycle,
          The US should get it every 16 year then….we are WAY over due.

          • Andrew

            October 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

            If you were talking about North America and a bid from either Canada or Mexico, then I would agree with you.

  5. Robert Hay

    October 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Looks like the mainstream media is picking up this story:

    Here’s another scenario – the US loses the bid because of vote trading/partnering, like Spain/Portugal did with Qatar. Not likely, but this is why this process is making me uneasy

  6. Rex

    October 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    USA 2022, “very lucra­tive for FIFA” is an understatement. The numbers are too rediculuous. Stadiums, media, people, and the worlds melting mean.. salad bowl.

  7. Andrew

    October 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, I also think we are a shoo-in, just like I did with the Chicago olympic bid…

  8. Robert Hay

    October 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    David and Adam – I am with you guys 100%. We are as close to shoo-in as possible, and I don’t think bribery scandals are going to derail that. That being said….. isn’t it a bit worrisome to be #1? Doesn’t it lead to a bit of worry that things are going too smoothly and some crazy variable related to the scandal could screw it up? I wrote this to see if anyone else had the same nagging worry I did.

    Nick – copyright that idea right now, and you will be a rich man! Shouldn’t it at least be a feature on Soccer Manager or FIFA 11?

  9. Nick

    October 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t know what’ll happen to the US bid. I just know that I’m totally buying “FIFA 2018 – Bidding Process Director” when EA releases it. Hire retired stars to gladhand corrupt FIFA officials! Hand out flags to schoolkids to welcome them! Arrange expensive catered meals! But is there enough left in your budget for bribes?

  10. AdamEdg

    October 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I do not see how this could endanger our bid anymore than the four teams from the Asian federation. I think we are as close to a shoe in as a country could be for several reasons:
    1. We have the stadiums and infrastructure already in place. We could host a WC at any time. Only a few countries in Europe can make the same claim – England, Germany, & Spain.
    2. Korea & Japan have hosted more recently than us – 2002.
    3. Australia is having major issues securing stadiums.
    4. Qatar is too tiny and their religious laws are not condusive to such a major international event. Instability in the Middle East does not help their case.
    5. China is rumored to be favored in 2026. If there is any weight to this rumor, then the four Asian countries would be out of the running for 2022 by default. FIFA generally does not award the WC to the same federation two cycles in a row. China has the potential to have everything ready very quickly and did well with the Olympics.
    6. The same holds true for having European hosts in 2018 & 2022

  11. David

    October 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

    This seems like a scare tactic. Why would this affect the US bid anymore so than say Australia’s or Qatar’s? I think you’re making something out of nothing, and all it’s going to do is give me a heart attack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in American Soccer

Translate »