Fans in Los Angeles gathered in hopes of hearing that the United States would host the World Cup in 2022. Instead, FIFA officials announced that the event will be in Qatar in 2022 and Russia in 2018.
"I'm really sad," said Allen Montgomery, who was at the ESPN Zone in downtown LA. "2026! 2026! 2026! That's what I'm hoping for."
The five bidders for 2022, Qatar, the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea, had their presentations on Wednesday. England, Russia, and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/The Netherlands were finalists for 2018, which was announced first.
When the United States hosted the most profitable World Cup to date in 1994, Los Angeles was a centerpiece host of the event. The World Cup final was staged at the Rose Bowl, where Brazil and Italy played 120 minutes to a scoreless tie, and Brazil won on penalty kicks.
The official viewing party in LA was at the ESPN Zone at LA Live. All fans received free breakfast.
Members of the LA Galaxy were at the party.
Chivas USA also hosted a party. That was at Hennessey's Tavern in Manhattan Beach.
Now the U.S. will have to wait until at least 2026, when it may have to compete with bids from Europe, soccer's financial base.
Tiny Qatar Comes Up Big
Qatar, the smallest nation to host the World Cup, used its 30-minute presentation to underline how the tournament could unify a region ravaged by conflict. Presenters also promised to overcome summer heat of up to 130 degrees by air conditioning outdoor stadiums it will build, then dismantle and give to needy nations.
"Thank you for believing in change, thank you for believing in expanding the game, thank you for giving Qatar a chance," said Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar's bid chairman. "We will not let you down. Youu will be proud of us, you will be proud of the Middle East and I promise you this."
It was the second international loss in the year for the U.S., which was led by former President Bill Clinton during its final presentation Wednesday. Last year, the International Olympic Committee chose Rio de Janeiro over Chicago and others for the 2016 Olympics despite a personal lobbying effort by President Barack Obama.
Brazil was selected as the 2014 host in October 2007, and FIFA began accepting bids for the following two tournaments in early 2009.
By selecting Qatar, FIFA precluded a 2026 bid from China, since the same continent cannot host consecutive World Cups.