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Spain Defends FIFA as U.S. Makes Last-Minute Pitch

Shocker alert: Spain jumped to the defense of FIFA executives.

The country that has benefited from the networking skills of bid president Angel María Villar has taken a shot at the media over its coverage of corruption allegations.

Villar, a FIFA vice president and a 12-year veteran of the executive committee, said the world soccer body "works honestly."

Rebutting media allegations of bribery corruption within FIFA, Villar called his committee colleagues "honest, hard-working people."

Two committee members were suspended last month over allegations of corruption, leaving 22 voters.

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The committee is set to announce the World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022. Spain is a finalist for the 2018 event.

Meanwhile, the United States and its star-studded delegation committee made a final pitch Wednesday to secure the 2022 event.

Considered a favorite, the team of former President Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman said the U.S. should be awarded the games because of, among other advantages, its diversity and the economic boost it could provide for the event.

"It's important that all the teams who come to any World Cup venue feel that they, too, are playing at home, not just for people watching on television," said Clinton, honorary chairman of the U.S. bid committee. "I tell everyone maybe America's best claim to this World Cup is that we have the only nation you can put the World Cup that can guarantee no matter who makes the final, we can fill a stadium with home-nation rooters."

The World Cup bid team -- which is competing against Qatar and Australia, among other countries -- noted that no infrastructure needs to be built to host the tournament in the U.S. The Americans also highlighted the growth of soccer in the country since it hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1994.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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