By Duncan Mackay

January 15 - Chicago withdrew its bid to stage World Cup matches if the United States campaign to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup is successful because the city refused to underwrite a guarantee of $10 million (£6 million) following its doomed attempt to host the 2016 Olympics, it has emerged today.

There was widespread surprise on Tuesday when Chicago was not among the 18 cities announced by the USA Bid Committee with Sunil Gulati, the President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), blaming "Olympic fatigue".

David Downs, the executive director of USA 2018-2022, has revealed that Chicago Park District officials told the them last month they did not want Soldier Field, which staged the opening match the last time America staged the World Cup in 1994, to be part of their campaign.

Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, spokeswoman for the Chicago Park District, who own Soldier Field, said: "This is a tough economy.

"We didn’t think it was appropriate at this time."

When announcing that Chicago had not been chosen, Gulati said: "I think there is a little Olympic fatigue.
"I think the Park District had a tough time wrestling with the FIFA requirements a short order after the IOC (International Olympic Committee) decision.

"When we [first] approached them they were in the middle of the Olympic bid, the city as well as the Park District, and they had a tough time getting moved to come into full compliance with FIFA standards."

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