‘USA could bid to host 2026 World Cup’

The United States’ “unprecedented” and “staggering” appetite for football could see them bid to host the 2026 World Cup, according to Fifa bosses.

The Americans were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup by Belgium on Tuesday.

However, the level of support for Jurgen Klinsmann’s team has been remarkable, with US president Barack Obama among those tweeting support.

The USA has only hosted the World Cup on one occasion, in 1994

It was the highest attended in World Cup history with average attendances of nearly 69,000

Singer Diana Ross was the highlight of the opening ceremony, for failing to kick a football into an open goal from 12 yards

Brazil beat Italy on penalties in the final, with the pony-tailed Roberto Baggio blasting the crucial spot kick over the bar

“There is a commitment to work with US Soccer,” said Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Speaking to Brazil newspaper Globo, Valcke added: “What we see in the United States is staggering. The audience is unprecedented, more than the NBA.

“The country has the largest level of youth soccer in the world, with 20 million young people playing.

President Obama: “What you guys accomplished is really, really significant”

“I think after 2022, they have an interest in hosting the 2026 World Cup.”

After advancing from a tough group also containing Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the US took Belgium to extra time before eventually being beaten 2-1 in an entertaining match which saw 56 efforts on goal.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been equally as impressed with the US, and echoed Valcke’s sentiments: “The level of interest in the USA is very high.

“This World Cup is really getting under people’s skin – the quality of the football is incredible.”

US Soccer president and Fifa executive committee member Sunil Gulati has previously said the United States could bid to host the 2026 tournament, but only if bidding rules change.

The US, who previously hosted the World Cup in 1994, lost out to Qatar for the 2022 tournament.

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