UEFA President Says President Donald Trump's Travel Ban Will Hurt World Cup Bid

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2017

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin looks on during a press conference closing an executive meeting at the headquarters of the European football's governing body on December 9, 2016 in Nyon. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has said the United States' chances of hosting the 2026 World Cup might be damaged by the recent travel restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump's administration.

According to Rory Smith of the New York TimesCeferin proclaimed the country's chances of holding the tournament could be "critically" affected following President Trump's policy announcement on immigration and travel.

Ceferin said:

It will be part of the evaluation, and I am sure it will not help the United States to get the World Cup.

If players cannot come because of political decisions, or populist decisions, then the World Cup cannot be played there. It is true for the United States, but also for all the other countries that would like to organize a World Cup.

It is the same for the fans, and the journalists, of course. It is the World Cup. They should be able to attend the event, whatever their nationality is. But let’s hope that it does not happen.

Ceferin is also the current vice president of FIFA, and his comments may indicate the damage the restrictions will have on U.S. intentions to bid for future competitions.

Trump's ban currently only applies to seven countries, but the severity of the decision has "caught the eye of world soccer officials," per Smith. Three of the countries have active teams under the world governing body.

U.S. Soccer has declined to comment on Ceferin's opinion, according to Smith.