The United States remains a candidate to host the 2026 World Cup but, according to a top FIFA official, a recent political development could have a negative impact on the country’s chances of securing the right to house the world’s biggest tournament.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says that U.S. president Donald Trump’s travel restrictions could be a major detriment to a potential World Cup bid. According to Ceferin, who is also vice president of FIFA, any measure that would prevent players, officials or journalists from entering the country will be counted against a potential host.
“It will be part of the evaluation, and I am sure it will not help the United States to get the World Cup,” Ceferin said, according to the New York Times. “If players cannot come because of political decisions, or populist decisions, then the World Cup cannot be played there. It is true for the United States, but also for all the other countries that would like to organize a World Cup.
“It is the same for the fans, and the journalists, of course. It is the World Cup. They should be able to attend the event, whatever their nationality is. But let’s hope that it does not happen.”
Ceferin went on to say that Brexit could also have a major soccer-related fallout, as England’s chances of hosting the World Cup, European Championship or Champions League final could be damaged.
The U.S. remains a favorite to host the 2026 tournament, either as a solo host or as part of a joint bid with Canada and/or Mexico. U.S. Soccer has yet to formally bid for the chance to host.
Bids for the 2026 tournament must be submitted by December 2018 with the official host selection coming in May 2020.