For the futbol world, Dec. 2 is D-Day. That's when FIFA, soccer's international governing body, will decide which nations will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Fox Soccer Channel will cover the announcement live on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m. as to whether the U.S. will succeed in playing home to the tourney in 2022, with Decision Day 2022: A Fox Soccer Report Special. The U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup, which led to the formation of the domestic circuit, Major League Soccer in 1996, and is currently one of five nations in contention to hold what is arguably the world's largest sports spectacle in 2022.
The special will be preceded by a 30-minute preview show, D-Day Minus 1, on Dec. 1 at 9 p.m., an examination of all of the nations in contention to host the famed FIFA tourney in 2018 and 2022, followed at 9:30 p.m. by Team USA: Journey to Glory, a look at Sam's Army, past, present and future.
FSC, an official partner of the USA Bid Committee, will also present countdown clocks to the selection moments on-air and on Foxsoccer.com, kicking off on Thanksgiving Day. In October, Fox Sports Media Group chairman and CEO David Hill formally accepted an invitation to join the USA bid committee's board of directors.
"As the nation's leading soccer media brand, Fox Soccer Channel is honored to share this landmark moment in American sports history with our viewers, and support our ongoing partnership with the USA Bid Committee," said David Nathanson, general manger of Fox Soccer Channel, in announcing the programming push.
With Decision Day 2022: A Fox Soccer Report Special, the network will bring viewers the historic announcement live from FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, along with interviews with leading figures in U.S. Soccer and fan reaction from viewing parties around the country.
Dec. 2 marks the first time, a pair of World Cups, are being award simultaneously, with the hour-long special also featuring live Sky Sports News coverage of the latest developments in England, which is in contention to host the 2018 event.
Curt Menefee, host of Fox Sports's 2010 UEFA Champions League Final coverage and Fox NFL Sunday, will lead the special, which will also feature Eric Wynalda, a three-time member of U.S. World Cup squads and the host of FSC's Champions League presentations. They will be joined by Cobi Jones, another three-time World Cup vet and member of the 1994 team and this nation's all-time leader in international caps, and Alan Rothenberg, the former U.S. Soccer Federation president and architect of the USA 1994 World Cup.
The build-up to the bid decision day begins Nov. 23, and continues with multiplatform coverage this week and next. Starting on Nov. 25, the on-screen clock graphic will air during all FSC programming, with a similar countdown mechanism appearing on the network's Web site.
Jamie Trecker and others will examine the FIFA bidding process and the prospects for hosting a second World Cup on American soil. There will also be Web-exclusive videos on Foxsoccer.com, as well as the network's Facebook and Twitter portals, with Wynalda and former U.S. national team member Kyle Martino, providing personal looks at the potential of another World Cup in the United States.
For its part, sister network Fox Deportes provides extensive Spanish-language coverage of FIFA's announcement on Dec. 1 and 2.
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