USA to rival England in bid for 2018?

May 28, 2008

The United States could be poised to challenge England for the right to host the 2018 World Cup after the US Soccer Federation president, Sunil Galati, laid out his country's credentials.

The Football Association are one of the bodies to have confirmed their interest in staging the competition, but Galati has suggested there was an appetite across the Atlantic to 'finish what we started' in 1994, when the tournament was last held in America.

England, who hosted, and won, the World Cup in 1966, face the USA at Wembley tonight before heading to Port of Spain to face Trinidad and Tobago.

That move is seen by some as an attempt to woo FIFA vice-president - and CONCACAF president - Jack Warner in his home nation.

But Galati warned that any such hopes could be dashed if the USA entered the bidding.

'We will make a decision in the next two or three months, but we are looking at it very seriously,' said Galati.

'I can't think of any reasons why we wouldn't bid for the tournament. We've done this before and been successful at doing it. The bid process has become very competitive and whether playing a game in Trinidad has anything to do with that I am not sure.

'But I think the FA are more sophisticated than to think they are going to get Jack Warner's vote on the back of playing one game. There aren't any CONCACAF bidders at this point and Mr Warner is the president of CONCACAF.'

He went on to outline the USA's suitability to host the event, at once denying any notion that the sport does not have a natural audience in the American market.

'We are determined to finish what we started in 1994. We are the most diversified nation in the world. If Nigeria and Ghana played each other, it would sell out. If Australia played Costa Rica, it would sell out. When we staged a third-placed play-off between Sweden and Bulgaria in 1994 there were 85,000 people there.

'My point is that this is not a question of fearing any country. We think we'd have a great bid, great structure and a great landscape.'