U.S. Soccer

Gulati: U.S. 2026 World Cup bid 'secondary' to immigration ban

Sunil Gulati

Though confirming the potential for a 2026 U.S. World Cup bid was still in discussion and not yet decided, USSF president Sunil Gulati stated that any bid concerns were ‘secondary’ to the Trump administration’s current immigration ban.

Among the myriad concerns originating from the immigration ban from several predominantly Muslim countries, a potential U.S.-hosted World Cup is low down the priority lists, stated Gulati, who confirmed that the federation would take a wait-and-see approach on how the ban affects the sport and any potential bid.

“Sports obviously involves international movement and free movement of players, of ideas,” Gulati said. “How this plays out in terms of international events, I think that’s frankly a secondary issue right now. The issue involving the executive order and its implications are far broader than that.”

“We haven’t made any commitments about ’26,” Gulati added. “The rules still haven’t been completely clarified, although more of them are now known in terms of numbers of teams, joint bids, but the process is still very much up in the air. Until we know more about that we’ll sit tight. We’re challenged by a number of things that are going on in the world. So let’s see how those play out over the next few weeks before we make any decision about co-hosting or going alone or bidding at all.”

Gulati also stated that while the federation did not have an official stance on the issue, he personally had no concerns or issues with U.S. captain Michael Bradley’s comments, originally shared via twitter before later being clarified on his Instagram. The ban has raised concerns among the U.S. soccer community, as several international players are up in the air regarding their ability to travel abroad to Canada for league matches.

  • TheFrenchOne

    Yeah, let’s see how something that is happening this week will impact a vote that won’t take place until 2020… I love how everyone just wants to jump on this one. I think I’d rather hear from Ashton Kutcher on this topic.

    Stick to soccer Sunil, instead of wading into immigration laws. On second thought, considering how your boy Klinsmann did with the USMNT, maybe don’t even opine on soccer…


    • UclaBruinGreat

      Ah the old “stick to sports/stick to your industry” comment. Sorry Frenchy doesn’t work like that. Just because you disagree and don’t want to hear it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.


  • Lance Williams

    Once again Gulati puts his ideology ahead of our game. I am ready for someone to replace him.


  • Old School

    Every time this nerd opens his mouth it’s annoying. If he wants to take a public stance and be vocal about an issue, let’s talk about the “Women’s Rights/Equal Pay” issue in his own back yard.

    Of course, I don’t fall on the side of the “equal pay” mantra the USWNT are fighting for because I have a strong suspicion the facts don’t support equal revenue being brought in, but that isn’t the point. Gulati wants to make public stances on political issues (which he’s starting to do more often), so, let’s see you do so about an issue you’re currently within.

    Just the typical SJW in this era spouting off about everything and doing absolutely nothing.


  • NE Revs

    Not sure why everyone is mad Sunil addressed this. Not sure if this is a press release or from an interview, but he was going to get asked about this eventually. Was he supposed to say he supports something that will get players like Justin Meram locked out of the country if he leaves to play for Iraq or a game against Vancouver/Montreal?


    • Scott e Dio93

      Read the Executive Order, first! Green card holders and U.S. citizens are not part 90 days waiting time.

      Refugees cost money: welfare, EBT, section 8, Medicaid etc…We had refugees killing people and raping children in U.S.


  • Gary Page

    This is how it applies. There is a lot of anti-Americanism in the world, waiting to be released if the US starts to act like a bully. Whatever you think of the Trump ban, it was implemented horribly and the optics are very bad. If the US tries to make a strong pitch for the World Cup and this is still a story, a lot of countries would like nothing more than to “stick it to the man”, or give the US a further black eye. So, for the time being, it is best for US Soccer to keep a very low profile on this issue. This is smart politics.


    • TheFrenchOne

      GP: here’s the thing, this mentality of sticking it to Big Bad America has been around for decades. I experienced it first hand in France and Germany when I was growing up in the 70’s-90’s. That will not change until, well, until we are no longer a superpower. So our foreign policy has little to do with the fact that other countries don’t like us or are suspicious of us. That’s just reality


  • Scott e Dio93

    This is idiot (Gulati) kiss up to Billionaire masters, and turn USNT into mediocre team! Shut up! Focus making; “USNT GREAT AGAIN!”.


  • bottlcaps

    I usually disagree with Gulati in a number of matters, but his cautious wait and see attitude is the correct one. I doubt that Trump will run for a second term (he said as much) and his term in office expires in 2020, about the time the WC bids will be due. I’m sure that even FIFA would give the US a little extra time for an incoming administration to support a US WC and to apply. FIFA would very much like to have the US carry out the first 48 team WC, as we are probably one of about a handful of countries that could handle it without any massive infrastructure program.

    What is an issue, is that FIFA will probably NOT have the US as a backup in case there were issues with Russia, or Qatar. The FBI/DOJ investigation is still ongoing and I’m curious to see how the new Trump administration will handle it.

    In case anyone forgot. TRUMP is a soccer fan. He played in High School (New York Military Academy) and most likely as FOX Soccer said “as right winger” .LOL

    He also attempted to buy San Lorenzo, and publicly insulted the Colombian football federation. So he is versed in soccer. That can be either good or bad, though.

    There is still plenty of time to see how things fall out in the Trump administration, and by the way, I am no Trump supporter.


  • Scott e Dio93

    Gulati focus USNT being #1 region. Results: losing the Gold Cup, losing vs mexico in the U.S., no under 23’s at Olympics, getting destroy by Costa Rica, keeping Klinsmann after the Gold Cup, a boring USNT that can’t hold the ball!


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