U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati has denied a report that claimed FIFA told the Americans to be ready if Qatar does not host the 2022 World Cup.
“They haven’t asked us, and I cannot imagine it happening anytime soon,” Gulati told Sam Borden of The New York Times.
The original report was in the form of a tweet by ESPN’s Jorge Ramos. That tweet has been deleted.
The United States, which hasn’t hosted soccer’s marquee international tournament since 1994, was hopeful of winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup when FIFA held its vote in December 2010. It lost, along with Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Since the vote, allegations of corruption have called into question the legitimacy of Qatar’s victory.
In addition to concerns over possible corruption, Qatar’s intense summer heat could cause officials to plan the event during the winter months, which opens up scheduling issues among other worries.
The 2014 World Cup got underway Thursday in Brazil with the host nation defeating Croatia 3-1.