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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The World Cup Doesn't Need the United States

The World Cup Doesn't Need the United States


"For this World Cup, soccer fans from the U.S. have bought more tickets than the fans from any other nation outside of South Africa. The U.S. has paid the highest media rights fees of any nation and has pledged to pay it players nearly $1 million apiece if they find a way to win the whole thing. Sunil Gulati, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, says the U.S. can play a leading role in the World Cup gaining "financial muscle" in coming years.

There's a larger prize behind all this dollar flashing, too: America is a finalist to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup—prizes FIFA will bestow this December upon two of the bidder nations. As U.S. soccer officials don't hesitate to mention, the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. was the first to ever sell every ticket to every game.

There's just one problem: Financial muscle doesn't much impress international soccer officials, who say their bid decisions are driven more by a concern for parity than profit."

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