Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

US World Cup 2018 Bid Committee Announces List of 27 Potential Host Cities

August 21, 2009

NEW YORK (August 20, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee today announced the 27 United States cities that passed the third stage of the city and stadium proposal review process and remain under consideration as potential host venues for the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. These cities will continue working with the USA Bid Committee both on the development and promotion of their local and national campaigns.

Officials representing a total of 38 cities received the Requests for Proposal (RFP) and had from June 16 to July 29 to complete their proposals and return them to the USA Bid Committee. The RFPs requested information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, training sites, promotion and more.

“The USA Bid Committee is pleased to have received comprehensive responses from city officials and local organizing committees across the United States,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “The overwhelming interest and creativity shown by the candidate cities made our extensive review process that much more difficult in narrowing down the list.”

The RFP process resulted in 11 cities being pulled from contention, an important step in the United States’ application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA and its 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The 27 remaining candidate cities offer a wide variety of markets that range in size from New York City to Jacksonville, Fla., as well as vast coast-to-coast geographic strength. Numerous U.S. markets that did not play host to matches during FIFA World Cup in 1994 remain under consideration, including Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix.

The 11 cities removed during this round were: Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Tex.

In conjunction with the list of 27 cities announced by the USA Bid Committee, a short list of 32 stadiums still under consideration was also announced today. The venues average almost 74,000 in capacity and represent a wide spectrum of facilities, featuring stadiums typically used for college and professional football, including open-air, domed and retractable roof venues. All 32 stadiums currently exist or are under construction with eight featuring capacities between 80,000 and 108,000 spectators. A list of the finalist cities and stadiums, all of which are vying to be included in the USA Bid Committee’s formal bid book to FIFA in May 2010, can be found at the end of this news release and at the bid’s official webpage, goUSAbid.com.

The current list of venues came as a result of a four-month process that began in April with representatives from 58 stadiums expressing interest in being considered for the USA’s bid. The USA Bid Committee was then able to cut the list to 45 stadiums in 38 cities in mid-June following the review of a detailed questionnaire completed by the candidate venues that incorporated the strict FIFA facility requirements into the evaluation process.

“We will be working closely with officials from all 27 cities, stadiums and host committees over the next few months in our process of identifying the final list of cities that will be included in our bid book to FIFA in May 2010,” said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “The support of the individual cities and their capacity to promote the bid will be crucial to our efforts as we work to maintain the momentum created by the launch of our national campaign and our Web page, goUSAbid.com, last week. With the passion for the game being shown by our fans and the existing infrastructure in place in the U.S., we are confident we have assembled a list of candidate cities that will meet and exceed FIFA’s requirements for hosting World Cup matches.”

FIFA’s criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

A Dark Day In Sports History

March 3, 2009

Imagine the most beloved sports team in your country travelling abroad for a prestigious tournament, only to have their bus attacked with rifles, rockets, and hand grenades as they approached a stadium for a match. No, this one isn’t about soccer but its all about sports.

Sri Lankan are crazy about volleyball but their national cricket team is widely followed, having developed itself into a global power, winning the 1996 World Cup and winning the Asian Cup in 1996 and 2004. The island nation of 20 million has had its share of troubles in dealing with an ongoing insurgency and being hit hard by the 2004 tsunami but when the Lions take the field, they always have something to cheer for.

Today, on their way into the stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, the team bus was ambushed for a sustained 30 minutes in an attack which killed five policemen and injured eight Sri Lankan national team players, coaches, and an umpire. To put yourself into a Sri Lankan sports fan’s shoes, this was like having the American national basketball, soccer and baseball teams attacked and injured while on their way to a match abroad against a top opponent.

This was a dark days for sports, which are supposed to transcend political differences. Its not yet known exactly why the team was attacked but those who launch such cowardly acts should know that the spirit of friendly sports competition is too durable for them to overcome.

Letters from Vagabondia expresses our condolences to the families of the brave Pakistani policemen who gave their lives defending the Sri Lankan team, the players, coaches, and families of the Sri Lankan team, their Pakistani opponents who were waiting to continue their test match against them, and the families of the killed and injured referees from Australia.

And finally, hats off the Sri Lankan team’s bus driver, Mehar Mohammad Khalil, whose quick wits saved the lives of the entire team as he stepped on the gas pedal and drove the team to safety. The driver of the trailing bus which was carring the referees was killed along with one of the Australian officials he was carrying.

So, if you’re feeling blue that your team is not doing so well or think your life is tough since you don’t get along with your coach, spare a thought for those in Lahore tonight who just want a chance to play.

Jai Khalil! Jai Sport!