By the time 2026 rolls around, President Donald Trump will be out of office (even if he wins a second term). But the travel ban the Supreme Court just OK’d or some type of similar restriction might still be in place.
So what does that mean for players and fans coming to the World Cup soccer tournament the US is hosting that year with Mexico and Canada?
The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world and 48 countries will take part in 2026. And while it’s too early to know whether any of the seven countries in the travel ban — Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela — will qualify for the tournament, it’s possible that some may.
After all, Iran is in the Cup this year. Syria and Libya made it into the qualifiers but then fizzled.
According to a story in the New York Times earlier this month, as the US was bidding to host the World Cup, President Trump sent three letters addressed to the president of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.
The letters made specific guarantees that teams and fans won’t face any obstacles coming to the US if their countries qualify.
“In effect, the letters assured officials voting on the event that Mr. Trump’s hard-line stance on visas would not apply to the World Cup,” the story said.