Qatar to Host World Cup Over U.S. is "Wrong Decision," Obama Says

President Obama discusses his meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House, November 30, 2010. CBS

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President Barack Obama
AP Photo

In a chance encounter with reporters outside the Oval Office on Thursday, President Obama said he thought FIFA had made a mistake in passing up the United States as a World Cup host country for 2022.

"I think it was the wrong decision," Mr. Obama said. He added that he was confident that the United States would make it to the finals regardless of where in the world the Cup were held.

FIFA announced on Thursday that Russia would host the 2018 World Cup, and - in something a surprise announcement - that Qatar would be home to the 2022 tournament

Qatar, a wealthy Gulf state smaller in size than the state of Connecticut, will be the first Middle Eastern country in history to host a major global sporting event.

Australia, Japan and South Korea were the other finalists in the running to host the 2022 games.

Bill Clinton supported the failed U.S. bid. Late last year, the United States was also rebuffed in its effort to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago -- despite President Obama lobbying personally on its behalf.


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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