United States wants changes to World Cup bidding process

The United States wants further changes to the World Cup bidding process before trying to win the right to host the finals again.

FIFA executive committee member Sunil Gulati, who is also president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, remains unhappy over the process that led to Qatar beating his country and others to the 2022 World Cup.

”The rules, the procedures, need to be very different than they are now,” Gulati told the Leaders in Football conference in London. ”It’s a unique situation that the Olympics and the World Cup have become so important to countries that nation states are now essentially bidding, it’s no longer bid committees.

”That’s a very difficult situation for countries like England or the United States, frankly, which operate differently. We are not going to conduct a foreign policy based on hosting a World Cup … it’s just never going to be important.”

If the United States, which hosted the 1994 tournament, is to bid again, Gulati wants assurances that voters will follow the technical inspection reports that seemed to be ignored when Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament despite the summer heat being declared a high risk.

Gulati said FIFA also needs to establish in advance if a particular continent will be designated a tournament and he would prefer the vote not to be held in secret.

”Would we be interested in bidding for 2026? The procedures would need to be very different to what they are now,” said Gulati. ”If the critical issue is taking it to new lands, then tell us in advance, because we won’t bother.

”The rules need to be clearer and tighter. And the process needs to be better. If you are stepping on to a field of play, you know what the rules are.”

To be fair to FIFA, the rules are pretty clear: the more money you are prepared to throw around at corruptible FIFA officials, the more chance you have of hosting the finals; the more democratic your system of government, the less chance you have of hosting the finals.

There’s no way FIFA wants a repeat of the ‘problems’ they have encountered in Brazil, where pesky, democratically elected politicians refuse to overturn their country’s constitution in order to do FIFA’s bidding. World football’s governing body will not be making that mistake again.