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THE GAME IS IN US – U.S. bid presentation in ZURICH – VIDEO, FIFA VOTING PROCESS and schedule

Sunil Gulati, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and chairman of the USA Bid Committee, rehearses the USA Bid presentation in Zurich. Photo by Michael Gericke/USA Bid Committee

Sunil Gulati, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and chairman of the USA Bid Committee, rehearses the USA Bid presentation in Zurich. Photo by Michael Gericke/USA Bid Committee

“I think the group that we’ve got allows us to properly tell the story that we want to tell about the development of the game in the U.S. over the last quarter century and how we see it over the next quarter century. That’s really been our message, a glass that has become half full throughout the last 25 years, partly through the assistance of FIFA and the World Cup and other events, but we think there is so much more to be done in a market the size of the United States. The legacy potential, the economic legacy potential, is pretty extraordinary.” said  Sunil Gulati, the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and chairman of the USA Bid Committee. 

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QUOTES FROM SUNIL GULATI

On President Bill Clinton, the Honorary Chairman of the USA Bid Committee, and his contributions to the U.S. effort:
“President Clinton didn’t just get involved with our bid last week. He has been involved through most of this year and has been extraordinary in every aspect. He has hosted a board meeting, has written to people, has come to the (2010) World Cup for two of our games, changed his schedule after we beat Algeria because he was caught up in it… he’s been everything we’ve asked.

What does he bring to the bid? There are very few global citizens like President Clinton, very few global treasures, and I think we have one speaking on our behalf tomorrow. I don’t think there are many people in the world who resonate the way that he does. And he’s been a fan of the game. He was with us at the 1994 opening game, was with us in the ’99 (women’s) final, he was at the 2006 final (in Germany), his daughter played when she was younger, and when you hear him talk about the game, and the power of the game, and the connection of that to the things he spends every day thinking about and trying to change, I couldn’t do it justice. I’ll let him do that tomorrow.”

On the news of a third-party report prepared for FIFA that rated the U.S. bid as “100 percent” in its ability to hit FIFA revenue targets:
“We are certainly pleased that it confirms many of the things we have been saying in our bid.”

On meetings with members of the Executive Committee in Zurich prior to the presentation:
“I think they’re important in confirming those who have given us assurances that they would support us, and trying to win over anyone who may be on the fence. In essence, what we are doing is reconfirming our case or reconfirming our relationships. You’re not going to have multimedia presentations here on an individual basis; there is one 30-minute version of that tomorrow. So it is just reconfirming our case, our legacy case which is very important to us, the economic case, the diversity case, and let’s call it the organizational case. It’s all of those things.”

Why the U.S.?
“Being able to change the landscape in a country of 320 million people with a relatively high per capita income is an extraordinary opportunity. The upside potential, economic, consumer-wise, or just legacy-wise of turning on a country of 320 million people so they are avid fans – and clearly they were much more avid and active this past summer than they have ever been before – that shows us it can be done. The World Cup would be immensely helpful as we try to develop the game if we can get millions more people tuned into the sport, not just the 31 days of the World Cup but to Major League Soccer, to playing soccer, to our women’s teams, the after-school programs for soccer,. And the 12-year run-up prior to the World Cup is a central part of our story.”

“We’re not now and have never claimed that what happened this summer, all the excitement around the team, has put us on the level of an England or Brazil in terms of fan affinity. But what we’re saying is, can you imagine if we get to that level of fan affinity in the U.S.? We think that’s possible.”

QUOTES FROM LANDON DONOVAN

“It’s all a learning process and, as a player, it makes you appreciate what goes on behind the scenes and how much more goes into it than you would ever know when you step on the field. It’s given me an appreciation for (FIFA World Cup USA) 1994 and what went into that, and for me this story is personal because it is real for me. This has given me this life and I want to be able to, in part, help reciprocate and give that back and be part of this process so that in 2022, there is a kid who is 12 years old going to one of the games and having their eyes opened for this first time by this beautiful game and maybe end up the way I did.”

Landon Donovan, U.S. Men's National Soccer Team player and a member of the USA Bid Committee board of directors, rehearses the USA Bid presentation in Zurich. Photo by Michael Gericke/USA Bid Committee

Landon Donovan, U.S. Men's National Soccer Team player and a member of the USA Bid Committee board of directors, rehearses the USA Bid presentation in Zurich. Photo by Michael Gericke/USA Bid Committee

On his experience in Zurich and preparations for Wednesday’s presentation:

On the potential of a FIFA World Cup in the U.S. in 2022:
“Part of me is very jealous if we do get the World Cup because to play a World Cup in your home country would be incredible.”

On his anticipation upon being on the U.S. presentation team on Wednesday:
I want to be genuine, and I want to tell my story. And I think my story is important. My story can be replicated and duplicated if we get the World Cup in 12 years, and I want to give that opportunity to another kid who will be in my position like I was in 1994. For me, I take that very seriously. I am excited about it, I guess I’ll be a little nervous, mainly because I don’t want to go too long and take time from President Clinton. So, I’m going to be real, and I’m going to enjoy it.

QUOTE FROM DON GARBER, COMMISSIONER, MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

On the effect of a FIFA World Cup in the U.S. in 2022:
“Rarely does any business have the opportunity to have a 12-year business plan. Most businesses have a three-year plan or a five-year plan. If we get the World Cup, we have a 12-year plan. And our goal is to be one of the top soccer leagues in the world by 2022. And that’s not just by our own measure, but how we’re perceived by the rest of the world – the quality of play, a league that’s governed properly and respected in terms of the health of our teams from a business perspective, the size and passion of our fan base, the size of our television audience and the commensurate contracts that come along with that, and the overall interest and awareness of the sport. So, we have a very specific goal. If we get the World Cup, we want to be one of the top leagues in the world by 2022.”

USSOCCER.COM SWISS BLOG

Looking for more information and pictures from behind the scenes as the USA Bid Committee awaits the FIFA announcement on Dec. 2? Make sure to check out the MNT Blog on ussoccer.com to get the latest from Zurich. 

THE WORLD IS PAYING ATTENTION

One of the biggest announcements in the history of sports is drawing a host of VIPs and renowned personalities from the worlds of sport and politics to Zurich. Also, the world’s media is also turning out in force, with more than 1,000 journalists accredited to cover the event, and nearly 70 TV stations broadcasting the announcement live.

STREAMING OF PRESENTATIONS

All nine presentations this week in Zurich will be streamed live at FIFA.com

WATCH PARTIES IN THE USA

Soccer fans from throughout the United States will gather for “watch parties” on Thursday in hopes of celebrating the United States being named the host for the FIFA World CupTM in 2022. Click here for all the information you need to attend and cover some of the bigger activities scheduled in U.S. host cities.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE

To assist media members in their coverage of the decision for the hosts of the FIFA World CupTM in 2018 and 2022, the USA Bid Committee has provided an itemized schedule of events that will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, surrounding the announcement of the host nations.

The announcement will be made by FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. (ET) at Messe Zurich and will be broadcast live by Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN Deportes, CNN International and Univision.

Wednesday, December 1
2022 Bidding nations presentations at FIFA House – Times listed are Zurich/Eastern U.S.
2 p.m./8 a.m. – Australia
3 p.m./9 a.m. – Korea Republic
4 p.m./10 a.m. – Qatar
5 p.m./11 a.m. – United States
6 p.m./Noon – Japan

Thursday, December 2
2018 Bidding nations presentations at FIFA House – Times listed are Zurich/Eastern U.S.
9 a.m./3 a.m. – Belgium/Netherlands
10 a.m./4 a.m. – Spain/Portugal
11 a.m./5 a.m. – England
Noon/6 a.m. – Russia
2 p.m./8 a.m. – FIFA Executive Committee voting at FIFA House
4 p.m./10 – 10:30 a.m. – FIFA Announcement at Messe Zurich *
4:45 p.m./10:45 a.m. – 2018 Host Nation press conference begins at Messe Zurich *
5:15 p.m./11:15 a.m. – 2022 Host Nation press conference begins at Messe Zurich *
6:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. – USA Bid media teleconference call*
(*Please note that all times are tentative and subject to change)

Friday, December 3
USA Bid Committee travels back to United States

FIFA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VOTING PROCESS

The FIFA Executive Committee, chaired by President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, approved the voting process to determine the hosts of the 2018 FIFA World CupTM and 2022 FIFA World CupTM during its meeting held in Zurich on Oct. 28 and 29.

The voting will take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Thursday, Dec. 2, and the process will be as follows:

  • The 2018 vote will take place first, then the 2022 one. The vote will be by secret ballot and all eligible members of the FIFA Executive Committee can vote in both ballots
  • To win the right to host the competition, a bidder must obtain an absolute majority (50% + 1) of the votes of the FIFA Executive Committee members present
  • In the event of a tie when only two bidders remain, the FIFA President will have the casting vote
  • For any voting round in which an absolute majority is not achieved, the bidder with the lowest number of votes will not progress to the next voting round
  • If there is a tie for the lowest number of votes in any round, an intermediate voting round will be conducted to determine which of the tied bidders does not progress
  • When the final decision on the host has been taken, the result will be put in two envelopes and taken by the notary to the “Messe Zurich”, where they will be handed over to the FIFA President for the announcements

ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE

The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World CupTM in 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. President Bill Clinton is the honorary chairman of the USA Bid Committee, US. Soccer President Sunil Gulati is chairman and Carlos Cordeiro the vice-chairman.

The USA Bid Committee’s high profile Board of Directors include: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, counselor and aide to President Clinton – Doug Band, comedian Drew Carey, former boxer Oscar De La Hoya, American soccer stars Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, actors Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, director Spike Lee and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The U.S. Bid is supported by official sponsors American Airlines, AT&T, Cerner, Fox Soccer Channel and Latham & Watkins. The U.S. Bid includes 18 candidate host cities and it features 18 currently existing stadiums which have been built or renovated in the last 20 years and all of which are in compliance with FIFA requirements. With an average capacity of more than 76,000 spectators, the stadiums in the U.S. Bid offer the availability of a World Cup-record five million tickets.

For more information on the U.S. Bid, visit goUSAbid.com.

 

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