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United States Committed to 2018 Bid

Fri 25th Jun 2010 | Football Industry Events

Bid committee executive director David Downs insists the United States is fully committed to bidding for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as it has not received a "compelling enough reason to drop out".

With Japan and Australia pulling out of the bidding to focus their efforts on the 2022 tournament, the United States is the last remaining non-European nation left in the race to host the 2018 edition.

However, Downs has reiterated the United States' commitment to bidding for both tournaments, although he conceded it faces a battle to win the 2018 bid.

"Well, we certainly heard the analysis in the press that Europe has a big leg-up to hosting 2018, and I think from day one we've always thought that our chance to host might be better in 2022 than in 2018," he told Press Association Sport's www.thesportbriefing.com.

"But we went into the process competing for both.

"We're certainly ready to host either if we're fortunate enough and honestly, at this point, no-one has offered us a compelling enough reason to drop out of the running for 2018 for us to do that.

"If at some point down the road something comes about that requires us to rethink our position, I guess we're certainly flexible.

"But, at this point, I think it is probably even of benefit to FIFA that we're in the bidding and it is not a European-only bidding process.

"In a matter of fact, I think FIFA wanted to move away from the rotation policy.

"For now, we're comfortable where we are and we're always re-evaluating our position, but I wouldn't expect any dramatic news from us on that story in the very near future."

The path had appeared clear for the 2018 World Cup to be staged in Europe after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke openly admitted in May that there is a "growing movement" to stage the tournament on the continent.

The comment saw Australia mirror rival bidder Japan in dropping its 2018 World Cup tilt, although Downs insisted the United States' bid committee can see no reason to streamline its efforts at this stage.

"We're appreciative that there were two World Cups being offered simultaneously," he added. "I think it makes our effort a little more justifiable.

"In every bid you spend a considerable amount of money, time and effort, and ask a lot of people to do a lot of things on your behalf, so it was always a comfort for us to know that there were two prizes out there and we could win one or the other.

"Again, we are realistic that we have longer odds for 2018 than 2022, but we just don't see the harm of staying in the race at this point."

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