The soccer hype has yet to wane in the United States, as countless newspapers, blogs and talking heads talk continue to praise Tim Howard and talk of what’s next for the U.S. program. If American soccer fans are lucky, the buzz won’t fade, and here’s a good sign: FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke thinks soccer’s newly found popularity in the United States might be here to stay. He told Brazil’s Globo newspaper (via the BBC):
“What we see in the United States is staggering. The audience is unprecedented, more than the NBA. The country has the largest level of youth soccer in the world, with 20 million young people playing. I think after 2022, they have an interest in hosting the 2026 World Cup.”
There’s talk, however, that the United States, which last hosted the World Cup in 1994, might not need to wait that long as talk bubbled up last month about a possible re-vote over the location of the 2022 World Cup. It’s currently scheduled to take place in Qatar, but with accusations of bribery, numerous human rights complaints and news that FIFA “ignored its own terror alert,” there’s been chatter that the United States might end up hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Whether that’s a realistic possibility might become more clear later this month, however, when FIFA’s Ethics Committee has said it will release a report investigating the corruption charges associated with the Qatari bid. The association has said the report will come out after the World Cup in mid-July.
(H/t: NBC Sports)