It is no secret that U.S. Soccer has long wanted to host another World Cup, after the 1994 event basically launched soccer to a high level in the country. However, the next available tournament is in 2026, and rumors have it that the United States and Mexico may present a joint bid to host the event.
At least, that is the apparent hope of U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, and he also apparently is none too happy about the idea of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump winning November’s presidential election and potentially building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
During a press session Tuesday before the United States men’s national team took on Costa Rica at the Copa America Centenario, Gulati made more immediate headlines for his talk over the job status of manager Jurgen Klinsmann. But buried underneath that was his talk of the upcoming presidential election, and the firestorm over recent comments made by Trump about Gonzalo Curiel, the American-born judge of Mexican heritage who’s overseeing the lawsuit against Trump University. After Tuesday night, there’s no secret that Gulati is throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton, especially because he believes a Trump presidency would be a major stumbling block to a joint bid between Mexico and the United States.
According to Steven Goff of The Washington Post, Gulati was rather blunt when asked about Trump’s recent comments and the firestorm they have created:
“The world’s perception of the United States is affected by who is in the White House. It has some bearing, for sure. Having somebody in the White House that gives the country an outward-looking view and a personality that is more easier accepted around the world is positive for the United States and then more specifically for hosting events here and for our general image from a sports perspective, but it’s far beyond sports. A co-hosted World Cup with Mexico would be a little trickier if Secretary Clinton is not in the White House. Can it help you or can it hurt you? Both.”
Gulati also went on to point out that the political climate of a country can have a huge effect on hosting of international sporting events, and that the U.S. is only going to bid ” if we think we are going to be successful.” However, he went on to use both Russia and Qatar—not exactly respected political or social environs the world over—as examples of how bids can succeed despite political issues. If those are two examples, then the United States should have no problem considering the horrific human rights abuses in Qatar and Russia’s issues with the LGBT community and racism in recent years alone.
On the other hand, a Trump presidency plus FIFA’s money-loving ways could really be a match made in heaven. After all, both seem to be able to find ways to get deals done…