The next two World Cups are already embroiled in controversy and accusations of corruption. That includes the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 tournament, which has been awarded to Qatar. Gulati's bid from the United States came in second to Qatar's winning bid.
That troubles U.S. soccer officials for many reasons, as well as some of FIFA's top officials, who are concerned that the heat in Qatar will be too dangerous for players, officials and fans alike. The average highs between May and September, when the tournament would likely be held, are between 99 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius to 41 Celsius).
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The 2022 World Cup is already mired in allegations of corruption and accusations of slave labor. Investigations have begun to find out if Qatari officials and business leaders bribed voting members of FIFA in order to bring the matches to Qatar.
Construction of stadiums for the matches in the Middle Eastern nation of just 2.1 million people—most of whom are migrant workers—is well underway amid reports that more than 1,000 laborers have died in the desert heat as they begin to build the country's soccer infrastructure. (Qatar said this week that it has introduced reforms to protect workers from the heat and to ensure that they're paid.)
Sources inside the U.S. Soccer Federation would not go as far as calling FIFA and Qatar corrupt but say they remain disappointed that they did not win the sweepstakes for the 2022 World Cup.
Gulati, who also teaches economics at Columbia University, said, "The U.S. is ready to host the tournament tomorrow. Our infrastructure for a tournament this size is in place."