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Warner disappointed by US failure to win bid
Fifa Vice President Jack Warner yesterday congratulated both Russia and Qatar over their victories to host the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cup respectively, while expressing disappointment that the United States failed to win the bid for 2022. After almost three years of preparation, Fifa President Joseph S Blatter announced the result of the Fifa Executive Committee's vote yesterday in Zurich’s Messe. Warner described the battle for the World Cup rights as gruelling. “A number of countries entered the race to host the world’s most popular tournament and many of them made truly fascinating presentations. In the end however there can be only one winner. As President of Concacaf, I am disappointed over the fact that the US did not win the rights to host the 2022. But like football, there can only be one winner. In the final analysis, I am certain that a Concacaf nation will host the World Cup in 2026.”
Asked on his thoughts over the fact that the tournament will now be taken to two nations that have never hosted a World Cup before, Warner stated: “The power of football is universal; the game is not a constant but a changing tool for social transformation. By taking our flagship tournament to new territories we are signaling to the world that we live by our principle of fair play. “A fundamental belief is that for us growth is a way of life and we have to grow at all times. This decision will allow our game the opportunity for further growth. “This tournament will now be held on virgin territories. We have given the Local Organising Committees of both Russia and Qatar our golden torch to ensure that the future development and growth of this beautiful game continue.”
Warner added: “We preach equality and equity …Our game has the ability to transcend all boundaries, our game unites the world under one banner, our game sees no class, ethnicity and gender, now our beautiful game has taken on yet another role, it will now be the bridge between the West and the East. For too long we have seen the Middle East though our tainted perceptions. Let the Fifa World Cup of 2022 bring clarity to our vision. The 2022 World Cup will be the thread that will eventually create a bonding fabric between the East and the rest of the world. Let our game reduce the distance.” The other contenders for the 2018 Fifa World Cup were England, a joint bid from Belgium and the Netherlands, and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal. Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and the USA were competing with Qatar for the 2022 rights.
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