The last step for the USA bid committee before tomorrow's monumental vote is over.  Along with fellow 2022 bidders Australia, Korea, Qatar, and Japan, the United States presented their case before the assembled FIFA Executive Committee in Zurich; each bidder highlighted their strengths through chosen speakers and videos.

The general perception is that the US bid did well; how much this eleventh hour presentation will influence voters is unclear, but Gulati and the team certainly didn't hurt American chances.  The US presentation relied heavily on projected profits, with the economics-professor-by-day president of US Soccer laying out the case for another American World Cup through persuasive numbers.

Landon Donovan talked about the national response to his goal against Algeria and the excitement the American win created.  A video juxtaposed footage of Donovan scoring with a YouTube compilation of the response at soccer bars and viewing parties around the country (yes, the one you've seen and probably watched twenty times).

Morgan Freeman spoke about the United States' multi-cultural makeup and the passion the sport engenders in communities around the country.  Though he flubbed a bit by missing a page in his speech, his inclusion the presentation added plenty of the expected gravitas.

Clinton was the closer and delivered a doozy of a speech.  He diplomatically massaged the egos of FIFA, gave the other bids their due, provided personal anecdotes that bolstered his points, and generally held the room rapt while appealing to the committee's better judgement.  The build-up to a US World Cup wouldn't involve questions over construction delays or sponsorships.  An American World Cup would be free of complication.

If you missed the presentation live and want to see it, go here.

As for the competitors:

Australia's presentation was much like the USA's, focusing on the diverse make up of the country's population and growing the game.  Elle MacPherson was the star of the show, taking the stage with FFA chairman Frank Lowry.  Lowry and MacPherson shared a few awkward moments.   Australia's bid also feature a whimsical video piece wherein an animated kangaroo steals the World Cup trophy (can you guess where he hides it?) before eventually being captures.  He surfs.

Korea focused on notion that a World Cup on the peninsula might unite it.  Unfortunately, in light of recent events, much of the air has gone out of that balloon.  Korea's history of hosting world class sporting events was highlighted, as well as the country's technological advantages.

Qatar message of unity naturally involved the Middle East, including a nod to Israel.  The presentation was impressive, obviously big budget, and used bombastic video pieces.  The Qatari's also used several languages in the presentation, starting in French before moving to Spanish and English.

Japan's "dream" theme included the groundbreaking technology they promise to install should they win the bid.  This is the 3D technology we told you about; by beaming 3D images to stadiums around the world, Japan would simply be the "organizer" of the tournament rather than the "host."  By virtue of their simulated live game possibilities beyond Japanese borders, the bid made claim that they would sell millions more tickets than even record-setting '94.

Odds on the US chances have dropped, though Qatar remains a strong favorite.  Don't read much into that.  While confidence can only be so high with FIFA's reputation, the United States is viewed by many knowledgeable observers (including non-American ones) as the current leader.

The bottom line is that the US has the best bid by most measures.  Unfortunately, it's far from the sexiest.  Qatar has gorgeous pictures of unbuilt stadiums and the promise of opening up the Middle East to FIFA's tentacles.  Australia, though fading in most minds, is also uncharted World Cup territory.

What will happen tomorrow is anyone's guess.  Bid announcement expected around 10 AM EST.


blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy