Climate warning: World Cup 2026 bid will be fight, says Gulati

Sunil Gulati, the outgoing president of U.S. Soccer and chairman of United Bid Committee board, said there was more to the process of selecting a host or hosts for the 2026 World Cup than just the stadiums and infrastructure and soccer market that give USA, Canada and Mexico a huge edge over rival Morocco.

"It's about perceptions of America, and it's a difficult time in the world," he said a Q&A session at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday. "So there's only certain things we can control. We can't control what happens at the 38th parallel in Korea, we can't control what happens with embassies in Tel Aviv, and we can't control what happens with climate change accords. We do the best we can. We have the support of Washington."

There are 211 FIFA members, so if you throw out USA, Canada, Mexico and Morocco, that leaves 207 voting members at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13.

"We have to go out and convince what eventually will be 104 voters to vote for us," Gulati said. "We would like to get a few extra to not make it a one-vote swing. But this won't be easy."

Gulati, whose terms as U.S. Soccer president ends on Feb. 10, ticked off a list of international cities at which the United Bid Committee would be represented to lobby for and speak about the bid.

"I'm spending 90 percent of waking hours on the bid at this point," he said.
13 comments about "Climate warning: World Cup 2026 bid will be fight, says Gulati".
  1. Ginger Peeler, January 19, 2018 at 7:52 a.m.

    If we’re banning citizens from certain countries from entering the United States, what happens to teams from those countries when they qualify to play in the World Cup? We do some kind of song and dance so they only play in Canada or Mexico? That’s not gonna work. Would the USA make a special dispensation for athletes from these countries? i don’t think that’ll fly either. Frankly, at this point in time, I would not vote for the USA to host...not until we’re inclusive (not exclusive), and that’s looking highly unlikely for, at least, the next 3 years. Who knows who’ll be allowed in the country in 4 or 5 years?

  2. Michael Wilburn replied, January 19, 2018 at 9:07 a.m.

    The travel restrictions will not affect players traveling to the United States for the World Cup, unless they fail the vetting process (meaning they or someone in their family has a connection to terrorism).  Although the restrictions are labeled a “ban,” they do not block all people from entering the U.S. Exceptions and waivers exist for multiple classes of individuals and professions.  

  3. Mario Cesarone replied, January 19, 2018 at 9:39 a.m.

    You seem to be well misinformed.

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, January 19, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.

    Michael, fans are tourists. Bringing teams but no fans is not what FIFA has in mind. Besides Ginger's point was I think international perceptions of the USA which are extremely poor at this time. I could go on, but it would not be talking about soccer.

  5. Wooden Ships, January 19, 2018 at 8:22 a.m.

    Glad you’re back posting Ginger and hope all is well. On this post, I pretty much disagree with everything you said. We need to thank Sunil for all is hard work in service to the USSF, but now it’s time to return to the make believe world of the classroom. 

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, January 19, 2018 at 10 a.m.

    WS, I think you are overlooking the great success USSF has had on the business side, which is Gulati's area of expertise. The problems we talk about are on the sporting side, which is not his area of expertise. We need better management on the sporting side and that should not be the President's job.

  7. Wooden Ships, January 19, 2018 at 1:07 p.m.

    I don’t disagree with you Bob, business side apparently great. Sunil a factor, no doubt. But, he appears to be in apologist mode and can’t separate his personal feelings from his professional. He, along with many, IMO, are ashamed and long for the return of doormat status and a flippant disregard for law and order. He needs to no longer represent this organization. 

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, January 19, 2018 at 6:06 p.m.

    WS, I really don't follow what you are saying regarding "apologist mode", "doormat status", and "disregard for law and order." I suspect this lack of understanding in my part accounts for the difference in our views. Immigration and visas are not a "law and order" issue. It is an exclusive federal civil matter. It is illegal for state and local governments to intercede in immigration matters.

    I would describe the current immigration issues as Fifth Amendment issues rather than "law and order," which general refers to responsiblities of the states to maintain law and order.

    While I am now retired, I still like to keep in touch with what people are thinking about their communities. 

  9. Ginger Peeler, January 19, 2018 at 8:46 p.m.

    Thanks, Bob, for presenting my views as I meant them to be seen. WS, I know we have had our differences previously, and I respect you for that. Your opinion and my opinion may continue to differ, but your opinion is very important to me. You guys are like family to me. Thank you! 

  10. Wooden Ships replied, January 20, 2018 at 6:53 p.m.

    I feel the same way Ginger. Family of way back soccer supporters. I’ve grown weary of the crptic digs thrown by Gulati, SA and some of our players in the last two years. I expect those playing and administering under the USSF banner to comport themselves apolitically. Like my service under several administrations and CINC’s. Also Ginger, next time you go off the radar for an extended time, could you give us a heads up. I didn’t like not knowing if you were alright. 

  11. Ric Fonseca, January 19, 2018 at 10:23 p.m.

    Folks, I will refrain from getting into this "thinly-but-thick" can of worms, but all I can say is that I wonder what happened when Russia and Qatar were selected "over" the USA, if the same argument was well or better yet, ill served and the current political situation was not as convoluted?  

  12. Wooden Ships replied, January 20, 2018 at 6:56 p.m.

    Ric, I think Russia and Qatar were flat out bought. 

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, January 21, 2018 at 10:55 a.m.

    WS, you are not alone in that! Definitely, it was a corrupt process then. Not sure if the current process is any better. There are more votes to be bought. The problem is cultural. In much of the world bribery is how business is conducted and an expected income stream for decision makers.  

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