FIFA says the United States has pulled out of the bidding race for the 2018 World Cup to focus on winning the hosting rights for 2022.
FIFA says the decision, which had been expected, comes after “months of careful deliberation” between FIFA, UEFA and the U.S. bid team.
The 2018 World Cup will now be played in Europe, either in England, Russia or the joint bids of Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal.
Europe has long been expected to host in 2018 because the 2010 tournament was in South Africa and the 2014 finals are in Brazil.
U.S. bid chairman Sunil Gulati says in a statement that the move is in its “best interests.”
The 2022 race also includes Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.
FIFA will choose both hosts on Dec. 2.