ZURICH - The United States would produce
record profits for FIFA and expand the game to millions more
fans if it is awarded the World Cup finals in 2022, it said in
its final presentation on Wednesday.
The presentation to FIFA's executive committee members on
the eve of Thursday's vote was not without hiccups, however.
A speech from Bill Clinton, during which the former U.S.
President broke off at times from the thrust of the World Cup
message to talk about his Foundation, ensured the bid over-ran
the 30-minute time limit by nearly nine minutes.
There was a minor blip earlier in the presentation too as
Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman fluffed his lines after turning
over the wrong page of his speech.
President Barack Obama addressed members by video, in
contrast to last year when he appeared in person in Copenhagen
to support Chicago's ultimately unsuccessful 2016 Olympic Games
Bid chairman Sunil Gulati was assured with his speech
outlining the vast profits a second U.S. World Cup in 28 years
would bring to FIFA and how much the game had grown since
matches at the 1984 Olympics attracted sell-out crowds.
Current U.S. international Landon Donovan delivered the most
succint reason why the U.S. should see off rival bids from
Australia, South Korea, Qatar and Japan in Thursday's vote.
"Over 100 million watched (this year's) World Cup back home,
indicative of how far we have come as a footballing nation. The
World Cup captivated our country and something special happened
this summer in our love for the game," he said.
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