BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was a day of disappointment for Baltimore soccer fans. It was announced the USA will not host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Baltimore was one of the cities the games would be played in if America won the vote.
As Andrea Fujii explains, supporters are still optimistic.
Baltimore soccer fans anxiously awaited the FIFA announcement of the next World Cup host countries.
“I’m just ready to see the U.S. get the World Cup,” said Brendan Muth, fan.
“I’m pretty excited for the announcement,” said Jamie Watson, fan.
It’s Russia for 2018, but will it be USA for 2022?
Nope. Qatar got the bid and Baltimore supporters were visibly disappointed.
“While we put a great effort forward, we just didn’t the outcome we wanted, but we put soccer in the forefront of the United States,” said Terry Hasseltine, Maryland Office of Sports.
Supporters say Baltimore showed its ability to host a world class soccer match when Chelsea played A.C. Milan in the sold-out 2009 World Cup Challenge.
Thirty days of World Cup events in Baltimore would have brought in upwards of $600 million.
Getting the word out about Baltimore’s bid was focused on social media. The Maryland Office of Sports only spent about $6,000, so they say nothing was lost.
“This was not about making investments dollar wise, it was about creating a culture that soccer is relevant in Baltimore,” said Hasseltine.
Fans say the sport is growing in popularity.
D.C. United and national team player Santino Quaranta have not lost hope.
“The U.S. will host a World Cup, it’s just a matter of time. They’ll be back on the market. It’s just a matter of time,” said Quaranta.
Japan, Korea, and Australia were the other countries up for the 2022 bid.
The U.S. last hosted a World Cup in 1994.