The United States was beaten by Qatar in a World Cup 2022 hosting vote that was about politics, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said Thursday.

The Americans reached the final round, but lost 14-8 in the voting by FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich. Gulati said it was obvious there had been many political moves among delegates.

“It’s politics, it’s friendships and relationships, it’s alliances, it’s tactics,” he told a teleconference with U.S.-based reporters.

“There are far too many permutations, especially with two World Cups being decided on the same day, and I am not smart enough to figure out how all those played out in these two elections.”

But Gulati said the voting figures indicated alliances and tactical voting were behind the final result — rather than straightforward opting for the better bid.

“It is clear and it has been widely reported over the past several months that there was the possibility of some alliances, and the numbers would seem to bear that out,” he said.

Qatar beat out Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Russia new territory in 2018

The 2018 World Cup is going to Russia.

The 22 members of FIFA’s executive committee chose Russia over rival bids from Spain/Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium and England for 2018, and Qatar ahead of the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia for the subsequent tournament.

Rejecting familiar territories — England (host of soccer’s showpiece in 1966), Spain (1982) and the U.S. (1994) — and going to Eastern Europe and the Middle East for the first time, FIFA president Sepp Blatter is apparently pushing for a legacy. -Metro