The United States has a pending bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Unfortunately, the hopes of actually winning the bid seem to have taken a hit with President Donald Trump’s current travel ban of immigrants from Iran, Syria, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
The World Cup will expand to 48 teams by the time 2026 rolls around and although qualifying wouldn’t begin for another five years, FIFA wouldn’t be able to award the bid to the United States with the current ban in place as it would create a major issue if any of those six teams were to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
— The National Sport (@NatSportUAE) March 9, 2017
Speaking on Thursday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino mentioned the potential issues that Trump’s travel ban would create.
“When it comes to FIFA competitions, any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup. That is obvious,” Infantino said.
Infantino continued: “Mr. Trump is the president of the United States of America and as such of course [I have] huge respect for what he does,” Infantino said. “He’s in charge, together with his government, to take decisions that are best for his country. That’s why he has been elected. In the world there are many countries who have bans, travel bans, visa requirements and so on and so forth.
“We are now in the process of defining the bid requirements.The requirements will be clear. And then each country can make up their decision, whether they want to bid or not based on the requirements.”
It certainly doesn’t sound like the United States’ bid is being looked upon enviably as long as the travel ban remains in place.