No World Cup for Philly - or U.S.

This report from Inquirer reporter Jeff Gammage:

Who said the mayor doesn’t have a sense of humor?

His playfulness was on full display this morning when Nutter was asked to speak at the Tir Na Nog pub in Center City, where a crowd of anxious soccer fans awaited word on whether the United States would be awarded the 2022 World Cup.

“First let me say, Merry Christmas everyone,” Nutter said, provoking loud laughter. “Happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day — whatever you celebrate, celebrate it here in Philadelphia.”

Nutter was referring to the flap over the removal of the word “Christmas” from the Christmas Village shops at City Hall.

His jest turned out to be the highlight of the morning, as the U.S. failed in its bid, the cup awarded to Qatar.

Later the mayor released a statement saying he was disappointed in the outcome but proud that Philadelphia was one of 18 finalist cities in the U.S.

“Philadelphia will continue to host national and international matches in the years ahead, and we’ll be ready to sign up when it’s time to bid for the World Cup once again.”

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