The United States has now lost out on two huge world sporting events in the past two years. And in each instance to first-time winners.
It may be an unintended consequence of the fight against terrorism. The very security policies aimed at protecting the United States from attack, might be working to bench it in contests to host world sporting events due to some concerns that foreign fans, players, even officials may have trouble entering the United States for the games.
FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the smallest country ever to host the soccer finals, over competitors Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
President Barack Obama was clearly not pleased, telling reporters: ”I think it was the wrong decision.”
He had sent the top U.S. law enforcement official, Attorney General Eric Holder, to Zurich on Tuesday to help make a last-minute pitch in the bid to secure the soccer games for the United States and presumably to soothe any concerns over security.