The head of US Soccer was speaking as the country hosts the Copa America
The head of US Soccer Sunil Gulati believes an American presidency under Donald Trump could be harmful to a potential 2026 World Cup bid.
Gulati was speaking to the Washington Post, as America are currently hosting the Copa America Centenario around the country. They have had numerous teething issues in the opening days, especially with national anthems, on not one, but two separate occasions.
The USA are overwhelming favourites to win the rights to host the 2026 competition, but have yet to confirm their bid status. The country last held event in 1994, when Brazil became champions for a fourth time.
Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, and has been a divisive candidate. The entrepreneur has spoken negatively about different religions and nationalities, and Gulati thinks that may cause issues.
"The world’s perception of the United States is affected by who is in the White House. It has some bearing, for sure. Having somebody in the White House that gives the country an outward-looking view and a personality that is more easier accepted around the world... A co-hosted World Cup with Mexico would be a little trickier if Secretary Clinton is not in the White House."
Gulati also admitted that US Soccer will only bid to host the event if they think they can win the vote. A lot of that, he feels comes down to who is sitting in the Oval Office.
"We are going to bid for a World Cup if we think we are going to be successful. Whether we can be successful in a World Cup bid or an L.A. Olympic bid is affected by the world’s view of our leaders and not just leaders of the soccer federation."
The winning bid will not be confirmed until May 2020.