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FIFA to Bid Losers: Get Over It Already!

The losing bidders for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups should stop being sore losers, FIFA's president reiterated.

Sepp Blatter said FIFA's goal was to broaden the sport and award to new territories. Russia and Qatar won bids for 2018 and 2022, respectively.

But some of the countries that lost out – including favorites like England and the United States – have been less than sportsmanlike in defeat.

"Maybe some people have forgotten that in football you have to learn to lose as well as to win," Blatter said in an interview on FIFA's Web site. "It was a competition. 

"Some people won, some people lost," he added. "That's normal."

England, in particular, was among the nations most unhappy with FIFA. Delegates from its committee complained that the governing body did not declare before bidding began that the World Cup would go to countries that had never previously hosted the event.

FIFA also had to defend itself amid corruption allegations, among other scandals.

But Blatter remained unrepentant despite criticism.

"The sporting media don't always appreciate the social or cultural importance of awarding the World Cup finals to a country," Blatter said. "They just think about penalties, corners, refereeing and money. But, as I've already said, this decision wasn't about making money."

Highlighting what he said was the huge success of this year's World Cup in South Africa, Blatter said it was important to keep sending the tournament all over the world.

"We have made historic decisions in terms of sport and geopolitics," Blatter said. "We've sent the World Cup to new territories. The 2018 World Cup will go to eastern Europe and the vast country that is Russia, and the 2022 event will go to Qatar, in the Arab world.

"The World Cup will discover new cultures in new regions, and that's something I'm delighted about."

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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