FIFA may not allow 2026 World Cup in the U.S.A.
By Cameron Gwin, Staff Writer
In October 2016 ESPN FC published an article that U.S.A was the prime candidate for the 2026 World Cup. That could all change now. Recent postings on ESPN FC, have shown FIFA’s discomfort with the U.S. hosting the 2026 World Cup because of President Trump’s travel ban.
The U.S.A. hosted the 1994 World Cup, which sparked the soccer revolution here in the states. Soccer has always been seen as a foreign concept of a sport and wasn’t something most Americans liked or followed. However, in recent times it has seemed like the rolls have switched with football here. The popularity for soccer is on the rise in America. The Major League Soccer (MLS) is a prime example to show the growing popularity.
The MLS in the past five years has added four expansion teams in Orlando, FL, New York, NY, making the league turn to 22 teams now to increasing nearly 20 percent. The MLS is also having talks about adding two more teams in 2019, either in Charlotte, NC, Cincinnati, OH, Detroit, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Nashville, TN, Phoenix, AZ, Raleigh, NC, Sacramento, CA, San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, St. Louis, MO or Tampa, FL.
All that is nice, but do to the political status of the U.S. the idea of World Cup 2026 being a home soil may be ripped out from under us. President Trump called an executive order to ban the traveling back and forth from six Muslim countries.
“Teams who qualify for the World Cup need to have access to the country,” said Gianni Infantino president of the international soccer governing body, in a press conference. “Otherwise there is no World Cup. That is obvious.”
Countries like Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Syria could qualify for the World Cup, but according to the travel ban they wouldn’t be able to get into the country. Although this ban only will last at most 120 days from March 16, when the ban is scheduled to start.
President Trump is not only making rifts in America, he is possible hurting the sporting community. If the travel ban is affecting something that would be happening almost a decade from now, what could the ban do in the short term? The Little League World Series, which is held in various cities in the U.S. This means that it wouldn’t be possible for the teams from the six countries to get into the U.S. Even the Olympics would be in question for the time being.
For now there’s nothing that we can do about it, aside from protest, which will not change President Trumps mind. The travel ban isn’t only affecting the lives of those from the banned countries, but is also having major effects on the sporting world. America is always in the running for hosting major sporting events, but don’t expect anything special for, at least, the next four to eight years.