The U.S. Soccer president will wait and see how the controversial executive order impacts his country’s World Cup bid.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said he isn’t focused on the impact that President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration might have on the United States’ bid for the 2026 World Cup.
Trump issued a controversial executive order on Friday banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as all refugees from entering the United States.
“Sports obviously involves international movement and free movement of players, of ideas,” Gulati told reporters at halftime of Sunday’s USA-Serbia match.
“How this plays out in terms of international events, I think that’s frankly a secondary issue right now,” Gulati continued. “The issue involving the executive order and its implications are far broader than that.”
The U.S. is considered one of the favorites to host the 2026 World Cup, and a joint bid with Canada and Mexico has been mooted for the 48-team event.
“We’re challenged by a number of things that are going on in the world,” Gulati said.”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 said he had no issue with comments made by U.S. national team captain Michael Bradley, who strongly denounced Trump’s executive order.
“I saw Michael’s comments yesterday and they were clearly heartfelt. Absolutely no issue whatsoever,” Gulati said.