On Wednesday morning, word spread that FIFA evaluators considered the United States' bid to host the 2022 World Cup a medium risk because "the necessary government support has not been documented as neither the government guarantees, the government declaration nor the government legal statement have been provided in compliance with Fifa's requirements for government documents..."
David Downs, executive director for the American's bid committee, disputed the claims, saying that government guarantees had been submitted as requested in May.
Downs' declaration received a boost on Wednesday afternoon when the House of Representatives passed a resolution expressing its full commitment to hosting a successful World Cup.
Representatives Chris Van Hollen (MD), Dave Reichert (WA), George Miller (CA) and Mary Bono Mack (CA) first introduced the bill, which was co-sponsored by more than 40 members of Congress, in late September.
“We welcome today’s House resolution as another example of the overwhelming endorsement our bid effort has received from all levels of government throughout the process,” Sunil Gulati, Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer, said in a statement announcing the news. “This resolution further reinforces our country’s commitment to FIFA that we will meet all requirements for a World Cup hosted in the United States.”
According to FIFA, both Australia and Korea's bids present the lowest risk levels, but Qatar - widely considered to be the US's biggest competition to host the 2022 tournament - earned a bad mark due to the extreme summer heat that would put players, officials, and spectators at risk.
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.