Written by Jessica Contreras
Every four years, 32 countries zoom their attention in on one country and gather to watch 64 games for the worldwide dream, the FIFA World Cup. Carrying in an average of 3.5 billion viewers, the FIFA World Cup is the most viewed Sporting Event in the entire world. Brazil was the last host country for the World Cup in 2014, and it profited about 100 million dollars from the 4 billion dollars FIFA, the not-for-profit organization, made. The next World Cup is set to play out in 2018 and FIFA is constantly in search of and deciding host countries, schedules, and arrangements between countries. The United States is currently being considered for a bid as a host country for the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
However, seven days into the new presidency, the new President of the United States implemented his fifth executive order. This order consists of a Travel Ban which prohibits “refugees from entering the country for 120 days and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations out for three months” (CNN). This Travel Ban currently affects countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. The moment the new President implemented the Travel Ban, it instantly transformed the lives of many citizens and non-citizens across the country. As many people across the nation disagreed with this Travel Ban, protests arose across cities and even more so within airports after officials were directed to prohibit incoming and outgoing “refugees” and “immigrants.” Given the extension of countries included in the Travel Ban, it is equally possible (per the Executive Order) that more countries can be added and removed from the list. Even more so, it is possible for the President to convert this temporary ban into a more permanent one.
The moment the new President decided to become a running candidate for this term, much turmoil rose all over the country, and it has quickly spread into world news because of the many inhumane judgments and discussions made by the current President of the United States. Politics are continuously entering media discussion, and in recent news, the Vice President of the not-for-profit organization, FIFA, has discussed with the New York Times that the current Travel Ban has caused a loss of hope in the United States’ bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The Vice President of FIFA mentioned that the Travel Ban is rising the tension on the United States’ chance to host a World Cup because “If players cannot come because of political decisions, or populist decisions, then the World Cup cannot be played there” (The New York Times).
Hosting a FIFA World Cup is a winning ticket for the economy and the country as all incomes would be positively affected with by the incoming attention and contributions made from hosting a World Cup. It is possible to make a pro and con list for the United States considering this potential ban from entering the bid as a host country, yet the list would only comprise of cons. One con being that the United States’ Travel Ban would impose returning participating countries such as Iran, Syria, and Iraq to contribute to any World Cup event within the borders of the United States. Another being that the United States would miss hosting what will be 48 countries in 2026, which is bound to carry in a larger profit for FIFA and the economy of the United States. The only benefit the United States could receive from a prohibition as a host country would be that the U.S. would receive more attention and focus with help from outside countries to fix the currently divided nation considering the current Travel Ban and the new President.
The FIFA Men’s World Cup is just one of the many events and opportunities that the United States of America would not benefit from. Given that the United States does not reach the bid of hosting a World Cup in 2026, the U.S. would thus lose futuristic plans in sporting events, entertainment, and even political engagements. The FIFA Vice President has helped open a new door for the injustice going on within and around the borders of the United States. More so, the FIFA Vice President has helped other countries and individuals within the U.S. understand how unacceptable the inhumanity that the current President holds is and how much the United States has lost and will lose in continuation with the current President.