The stateside fall-out from this morning's decision continues, with the latest rebuke coming from on high. President Barack Obama called FIFA's decision "wrong" when speaking to reporters between meetings. The President was featured in the United States' presentation video but was not on hand this week's festivities.
Former President Bill Clinton had played a major role in U.S. Soccer's bid, being involved in yesterday's presentation to FIFA's executive committee. President Obama's contributions came in video form, telling the committee, "Here in America passion for football burns stronger than ever. If we are successful we will make the world proud. The game is in us. I hope to have the chance to welcome all of you in 2022."
Instead, the right to host the tournament went to Qatar, and while it's unclear what President Obama was specifically referring to when he said "wrong," a better term to describe the their bid may be "different." A meme that grew throughout the bidding process was the preparedness had precedence. That's what the English-speaking world felt the United States and England the "right" choices.
The decisions went the other way, rebuking preparedness. In light of two less-prepared nations being chosen to host the 2010 and 2014 tournaments (South Africa and Brazil, respectively), a definition of right and wrong built around present day preparedness might itself be wrong. Qatar was the least prepared of the 2022 bidders. Clearly, that was of little import.
We'll hear more people claim the Qatar decision is wrong, but would help if each person articulated their standard. How their definition compares to FIFA's may highlight the disconnect.