U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati
didn't come out and say Donald Trump
would be bad for the USA and a World Cup bid, but he did make his point, saying how the world views of the next
U.S. president will impact the success of such a bid and the race for the White House will have some bearing on a World Cup bid.
At a media round table for select reporters before
Tuesday's USA-Costa Rica game in Chicago, Gulati was asked if Trump, whose candidacy has been widely criticized in the foreign media, would hurt the U.S. chances of winning a World Cup bid.
"I think the world’s perception of the United States is affected by who’s in the White House, yes, and so it has some bearing, sure," Gulati said
. "We’re going to bid for a
World Cup if we think we’re going to be successful. I think whether we can be successful in a World Cup bid, or LA in an Olympic bid, is affected by the world’s view of our leaders. And
not just the leaders of the soccer federation."
The USA is expected to bid for the 2026 World Cup if the bidding conditions are acceptable. If the current eligibility requirements are
confirmed -- any country except members of the Asian Football Confederation -- the USA would be the heavy favorite.
"I think having somebody in the White House that gives the country an
outward-looking view and a personality that is more easily accepted around the world is positive for the United States," Gulati added. "And then more specifically to your question, for hosting events
here and our general image from a sports perspective, but it’s far beyond sports."
FIFA has pushed back a decision on the 2026 World Cup host from 2017 to 2020, which helps the
process of organizing support for a U.S. bid. It would come in the third year of a new administration, within the first four months.
Gulati has ties to presumptive Democratic nominee
. Her husband, Bill Clinton
, chaired the unsuccessful 2022 World Cup bid. Donna E. Shalala
, the president of the Clinton Foundation, is an independent member of
U.S. Soccer's board of directors.