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USA prepare 2018 bid

USA prepare 2018 bid
By Eurosport

20/02/2007 at 21:40Updated

The US Soccer Federation is preparing a bid to host the 2018 World Cup. They will also offer to serve as backup venue in 2014 if a South American country is unable to stage the event.

US Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati was quoted in Tuesday's Washington Post saying that the federation will form an organising committee at this weekend's annual meeting in Los Angeles and prepare to formally advise world governing body FIFA of its intention to compete for the 2018 tournament.

England, who last staged the World Cup in 1966, has also expressed interest in staging the 2018 World Cup finals.

Gulati said: "We showed in 1994 that the US is capable of hosting a terrific event,

"Now, with the way the soccer landscape in this country has evolved, we would be in position to put on a spectacular event.

"We are much more a part of the sport internationally than we were in 1994."

Since the US staged those finals the sport has slowly taken root in North America.

The 1994 World Cup established records for largest average game attendance (68,991) and provided the springboard for Major League Soccer, which grabbed the international spotlight last month when former England captain David Beckham signed a massive five-year $250 million deal to join the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The US national team has become a regular World Cup finalist and many of the world's most popular teams stage off-season tours to US playing to packed stadiums.

South Africa is set to host the 2010 World Cup and under FIFA's rotation system the tournament is scheduled to be held in South America in 2014 with Brazil and Colombia bidding.

FIFA, however, has expressed some concerns over whether any South America nation has the infrastructure and resources needed to host the extravaganza.

If South America were unable to stage the tournament, Gulati said the US would be open to the idea of stepping into the breach.

"Obviously FIFA knows what we're capable of and, if something else changed, we would be open to any other possibilities," Gulati told the Post. "We've got some history and a track record."

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