This will be music to the ears of his supporters and torturous reading for those who oppose him, but since November 2016 Donald Trump is 1-0 in presidential elections and 2-0 in the United States landing global sports events. Victory for the “United Bid” comprised of the U.S., Mexico and Canada on Wednesday means that the 2026 World Cup will head to North America and, in a stunning reversal after months of speculation as to how Trump might hurt the vote, it ultimately turned out that he helped win it. Since March, Trump provided bid leaders with three letters addressed to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, guaranteeing that no incoming immigration crackdowns would impact players, administrators or fans coming to the U.S. for the World Cup, according to The New York Times. It was one part of extensive but largely under-the-radar government support for the bid, and the letters took away the primary fear in the minds of FIFA federation members that could have persuaded them to vote for Morocco instead. Wednesday’s vote follows on from the success of Los Angeles in gaining the right to stage the 2028 Summer Olympics, a campaign backed by Trump and in which L.A. bid leaders were highly complimentary of the president’s involvement. So many people, this reporter included, were off base in predicting how Trump’s bombastic ways and controversial policies would affect things. Few were more wrong than former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. He said before President Obama was elected in 2008 that a Democratic president would give a U.S. World Cup bid the greatest chance of success. He then hinted in the summer of 2016 that Trump’s then-unlikely tilt at the presidency would be a detrimental factor, adding that a joint bid involving Mexico was likely a non-starter unless “Secretary Clinton was in the White House.” Gulati is gone as president and was a peripheral member of the bid by the end, while Trump, who has little history of showing any real knowledge or interest in soccer, was left to claim many of the late plaudits. As this all relates to sports, scorecards are appropriate. And as much as Obama had charisma that stretched far beyond American borders, that never translated into votes for big athletic extravaganzas. On that front it’s Trump 2, Obama 0.
How ’bout dat?!?! Hahahaha! For more, click on the text above. 🙂