Clinton, Freeman pitch U.S. World Cup bid

Dec. 1, 2010 at 8:12 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Ex-President Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman pitched the United States as the best home for the 2022 World Cup during a FIFA presentation Wednesday.

Despite an embarrassing muffing of his lines by the 73-year-old Freeman, the United States made a good impression and is considered the favorite to land the 2022 event in competition against Japan, Australia, South Korea and Qatar, The Guardian reported.

Each country made a presentation at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, ahead of a Thursday vote by the soccer body on the sites of both the 2022 and 2018 World Cups.

Britain, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium are vying for the 2018 event.

Clinton noted the ethnic and religious diversity of the United States, contending "we can fill a stadium with home-nation rooters" no matter who is playing.

Freeman read the wrong page from a written script causing a momentary embarrassment, but that was unlikely to overshadow the U.S. promise of lucrative receipts from energized soccer fans in FIFA's eyes, The Guardian said.

"Over 100 million watched the World Cup back home, indicative of how far we have come as a footballing nation," added U.S. star Landon Donovan.

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