(WFI) The United North American bid for the 2026 World Cup is promising above all… money for FIFA. Lots.
At a presentation in Brussels before the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro said this Tuesday the tournament would leave in FIFA’s coffers a record $11 billion in profits.
Cordeiro, one of the three co-chairs of the joint United States, Canada and Mexico bid, says the record-breaking profits for the football’s governing body stem from a total revenue of $14 billion. “In other words,” said the U.S soccer boss, “(it will be) the most successful and profitable FIFA World Cup ever.”
The projected numbers given by Cordeiro take into account that the 2026 World Cup will include for the first time in history a tournament with 48 national teams.
Overall, the $11 billion profit promised by the North Americans for 2026 widely overshadows the $2.6 billion FIFA pocketed from the last World Cup in 2014 in Brazil.
According the the North American predictions, in 2026 about 5.8 million tickets would be sold, generating record gate money of $2.5 billion. Commercial hospitality would generate another $1-1.5 billion.
Cordeiro also projected Fortune 500 companies eager to sign on for the World Cup on sponsorship deals amounting to another $3.6 billion.
Cordeiro said media revenues from a North American World Cup would top $5 billion for the first time.
Cordeiro’s remarks before 200 journalists from 100 countries gathered at the Belgian capital coincide with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s promise to increase revenue for world football’s ruling body.
In the past few weeks, Infantino has been pressuring members of the six confederations that belong to FIFA to approve a future Club World Cup that would generate $25 billion in profits over the next 11 years.
In his address Tuesday, Cordeiro also made a reference to U.S president Donald Trump’s recent tweet warning to countries not to lobby against the North American bid.
“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”
Cordeiro said he hoped FIFA members would set aside politics when they go to vote next month.
“Let me acknowledge upfront that, as with many international bids over the years, the question of who will host in 2026 has at times become mixed with geopolitics,” Cordeiro said.
“We are asking that we be judged, not on the politics of the moment, but on the merits of our bid.”
The US-Canada-Mexico joint bid is battling against a rival bid from Morocco for the right to stage the 2026 tournament.
Morocco claims to have the support of 57 nations that belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well as securing the support not only of the majority of African countries, but also many in Europe, including Russia, France, and possibly the Scandinavian countries.
The United bid has the official backing of South and Central America and, among others, countries from the Asian Confederation.
FIFA members will decide the winner of the bidding race at a vote in Moscow on June 13.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
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