Donald Trump's travel ban could wreck U.S. bid for 48-team tournament
U.S. President Donald Trump's latest executive order bars new visas for people from six countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program, affecting would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino hasn't outright stated the Trump administration's travel ban on Muslim-majority countries would stop the USA from winning a 2026 World Cup bid, but the implication of his statements are fairly heavy.
It's unclear how or whether the ban would actually affect the 2026 World Cup, given that it won't take place until after Trump leaves office.
According to a recent report from The Guardian, FIFA has warned that Trump's travel ban could prevent the US from hosting the World Cup in 2026 - for which they are all but guaranteed to make a bid.
Only one of the countries now banned under Trump's recently revised travel ban has qualified for the World Cup in the past: Iran, which has made it to the final rounds four times.
The United States has a pending bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
Perhaps the most fascinating part about Infantino's quotes was his discussion of bid requirements.
"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", Infantino, the head of football's world governing body, told reporters following a meeting with football leaders from around the globe held in London, Bloomberg reported.
"We are now in the process of defining the bid requirements". "If players can not come because of political decisions, or populist decisions, then the World Cup can not be played there". "The requirements will be clear". It's general sporting criteria. But with the current political situation in turmoil, CONCACAF's rumored tri-nation bid between the US, Mexico, and Canada could be shot down by the ban.
Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter announces Qatar as host of the 2022 World Cup. But it could have an impact on how Federation Internationale de Football Association voters view the United States during the bidding process, which will likely begin this year.