Thursday, April 13, 2017

What World Cup Bid Signals for Muslim Ban, NAFTA

This week, the United States, along with Mexico and Canada, bid to host the World Cup in 2026.

As Paste reports, one of the big issues with the bid was the need to provide assurances to FIFA that "fans and players from around the world can actually enter the country" for the event. That's no small feat given President Trump's well-publicized efforts to put in place a travel ban. (And who knows what our immigration policies will look like in 2026!)

Here's what I find fascinating. Check out this statement from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati:

“We have very specifically addressed this with the president... He is fully supportive of the joint bid, encouraged the joint bid, and is especially pleased with the fact Mexico is participating in the joint bid.” 

The "this" in that first sentence is the travel ban. So, I think Gulati is saying that Trump "specifically addressed" the issue of waiving whatever ban is in place in 2026 to make the country compliant with FIFA's rules regarding access to the game. Okaaay.

Gulati also says that Trump is "especially pleased with the fact Mexico is participating in the joint bid." A joint bid, I should say, that is being referred to as the "NAFTA bid."

While Trump hasn't given any recent indications of a desire to eliminate NAFTA, he sure ran on a platform that did. Is this a signal of a new warming to our NAFTA partners? Color me intrigued.


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