North America 2026 SWC bid vows record profit
Gianni Infantino (Getty Images)
Brussels - Leaders of North America's bid for the 2026 Soccer World
Cup urged FIFA voters to ignore the "politics of the moment" on
Tuesday as they promised to deliver a record-breaking multi-billion-dollar
profit for the global football showpiece.
In an address to the International Sports Press Association
(AIPS) in Brussels, United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro
said the 48-team tournament would hand world governing body FIFA a record $11
"I can announce today that, working with FIFA, we
expect that a 2026 World Cup in North America would generate a new record: more
than $14 billion in revenue for FIFA," said Cordeiro, one of the three
co-chairs of the bid.
"This includes profits for FIFA of nearly $11 billion.
In other words, the most successful and profitable FIFA World Cup ever,"
Cordeiro added in prepared remarks to AIPS delegates.
The US-Canada-Mexico joint bid is battling against a rival
bid from Morocco for the right to stage the 2026 tournament. FIFA members will
decide the winner of the bidding race at a vote in Moscow on June 13.
Long seen as the clear front-runner for 2026, the North
American bid is facing an increasingly stiff challenge from Morocco, which is
bidding to become only the second African nation to host the World Cup.
Cordeiro's remarks on Tuesday sought to underscore the
commercial appeal of staging a World Cup in North America at a time when FIFA president Gianni Infantino is keen to boost revenue for world football's ruling
A source said earlier this month that FIFA has spent
$600 million of its financial reserves in the past three years.
Infantino, who is said to favour the North American bid,
also hopes to oversee the creation of a money-spinning FIFA Club World Cup.
North American bid leaders meanwhile provided a detailed
breakdown of forecast revenues, predicting 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 said.
Cordeiro also projected a sponsorship bonanza, with Fortune
500 companies eager to sign on for the World Cup, leading to another $3.6
Although Morocco's bid has emphasised that its time zones
make it attractive for European television schedules, Cordeiro said media
revenues from a North American World Cup would top $5 billion for the first
"Above and beyond that, the television rights from our
United Bid - and our bid alone - would deliver a $300 million guaranteed bonus
payment to FIFA and global football," he added.
Meanwhile, Cordeiro made a veiled reference to recent
remarks by US President Donald Trump, who last month appeared to warn unnamed
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 US bid," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us
(including at the United Nations)?"
Trump's intervention, which followed disparaging remarks
made by the US leader towards some countries in the Caribbean and Africa
earlier this year, were viewed as potentially damaging for North American bid
chiefs as they attempt to woo FIFA voters from more than 200 countries.
However Cordeiro on Tuesday 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."