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US loses 2022 World Cup bid to Qatar

December 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup, beating out a bid by the United States to bring soccer's showcase back to America for the first time since 1994.FIFA also announced on Thursday that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup. Russia was chosen over England and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

The U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea all wanted to host the 2022 World Cup, but lost the bid to Qatar.

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.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton had made a final pitch to FIFA'S governing body in Zurich, Switzerland. President Barack Obama, LA Galaxy player Landon Donovan and actor Morgan Freeman also took part in the bidding process.

It was the second international loss in the year for the U.S. Last year, the U.S. lost a bid to host the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro, despite a personal lobbying effort by President Obama.

Brazil was selected as the 2014 host in October 2007, and FIFA began accepting bids for the following two tournaments in early 2009.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.