America’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup has fallen short. But it wasn’t for lack of trying: Eric Holder has been in Zurich, advocating for the competition to be hosted by the U.S., and the attorney general was joined by Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman.

But this morning, FIFA, the worldwide soccer organization, awarded the games to Middle East country Qatar.

The affair is altogether reminiscent of the Obama administration’s last foray into sports, when the president himself went to Denmark to convince the International Olympics Committee that the games should be played in Chicago. Then, too, the White House came up short.

Freedom House awards Qatar a “not free” rating. And one can’t help but wonder whether Iran will be providing security (since the two nations recently signed a major security deal) and whether Israel, should its national team qualify for the competition, be allowed even to enter Qatar, as it would be a violation of the Arab boycott.

FIFA also announced who will host the 2018 World Cup: Russia, which prevailed over bids by England and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

Thomas O'Ban is an intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Next Page