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US soccer chief Gulati not to seek re-election next year

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-05 10:26

US soccer chief Gulati not to seek re-election next year

Sunil Gulati, President of the United States Soccer Federation, is seen during the MLS All-Star match between the MLS All-Stars and Real Madrid at the Soldier Fieldin Chicago, IL, on August 02, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

WASHINGTON - Sunil Gulati has decided to step down next year as chief of the United States Soccer Federation when his term comes to an end.

The USSF boss, an economist who remains a member of the FIFA council, told ESPN that the national team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was the reason for him not entering the battle for presidency.

"I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and talking about it with people in many different positions, many of whom told me I should run," he said. "But in the end, I think the best thing for me, personally and for the federation, is to see someone new in the job."

Bruce Arena's side suffered shock exit from the Russian World Cup qualification, losing to Trinidad and Tobago in their final game, after which Arena quit his coach post immediately.

"The loss to Trinidad was painful, regrettable and led to a lot of strong emotions," said Gulati. "And to be honest, I think at this point, that's overshadowed a lot of other things that are important."

"I'm going to spend a lot of time over the next six months trying to win an election -- and that election is to bring the 2026 World Cup here," said Gulati, who is also the chairman of the joint USA/Canada/Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA will award the World Cup at a June 13 vote.

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