Now that the entire globe has World Cup fever — and most Americans have “I’ll sneakily watch it at work because I feel like a badass” fever — talk naturally looks ahead to the next World Cup and beyond. The 2018 cup will be held in beautiful, sun-drenched Russia, while the 2022 World Cup scheduled for Qatar is a bit up in the air due to average temperatures in the triple-digits and accusations of bribery and fraud in winning the bid.
So what’s next? Many are calling for a change of host country for 2022 and, according to Screamer, “ESPN Deportes’ Jorge Ramos caused a bit of a stir last week by reporting that FIFA put U.S. Soccer on standby for the 2022 World Cup, should Qatar be stripped of its hosting privileges.” It’s a long-shot, and a lot would have to happen, but if the 2022 World Cup came to America, would we see games at Lincoln Financial Field?
Screamer thinks so. When US Soccer submitted its bid for 2022 it named 18 host cities (likely too many, as Brazil only has twelve and the US had nine when it last hosted in 1994), among those cities were Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Denver, and Philadelphia.
Screamer narrowed those 18 down to the more-likely dozen, and Philadelphia made their cut, citing both the capacity and the fact that it’s hosted matches for the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Plus, it’s just been renovated and it has all that nice wind and solar power that will look great being shown off to the world. This, of course, is going along with the thinking that no new stadiums would be built along with the awarding of a World Cup bid, which is an unlikely assumption. But unlike Brazil’s seven newly constructed (and barely completed) stadiums, the U.S. is more or less ready to go.
So could it happen? Absolutely. Will it? Well first FIFA would have to man up and strip Qatar of their hosting privileges, then go back to consider new hosts, then choose the U.S., and then have the Linc chosen from a fairly long list. But if that first thing happens, the next could happen right down the line.