CAN TRUMP’S ELECTION AFFECT US SPORTS PLANS? — PART I
What changes can occur in the sports with the arrival of the new american policy
On the last day 09/11 the world stopped to watch the US define its new president. The candidates for the most influential post in the world, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have had completely different positions throughout the campaign. If the Berlin wall fell to exactly 27 years before the American election and was greeted by one of the contestants, the other shouted the construction of a new wall — this time dividing the US and Mexico.
At the end of the day, after a turnaround in elections and polls, Republicans celebrated Trump’s victory. The Republican candidate had 290 electoral votes against 228 of his opponent.
Trump’s candid speeches, loaded with controversial phrases, took tabloids from around the world and made more people pay attention to the American presidential elections. Which by nature are already closely monitored.
As much as the new president-elect has spoken little about the position of the American Sport in relation to the world or the intentions of the US in relation to mega sport events. What can we expect from the US in the sport? How does the world react to Trump’s election and how can it interfere with American pretensions?
I will separate this analysis into four categories, they are: Olympics, World Cup, American Sportsmen and American Sports Internalization (NFL case). Being that in this first text we’ll speak only of the Olympics and World Cup.
Even before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the fight to host the 2024 Games was already fierce. In the match, Los Angeles and Paris, they came up as the main names to host the games.
The race began with five cities: Hamburg (GER), Rome (ITA), Budapest (HUN), Los Angeles (USA) and Paris (FRA). With Hamburg and Rome giving up the bid in 2015.
The announcement of the new Olympic city will take place on 13/09/2017, but in this dispute there is no time to lose.
During 2016 the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was in Brazil doing some events in the House France in order to promote the Paris bid, study the Rio Olympics and approaching with Rio and Tokyo, present and future headquarters Respectively.
The American moves on Brazil were restricted to high-yielding sports and the numerous gold medals, or were behind the scenes of the IOC. It was hard to see any American move to the Los Angeles bid.
After Trump’s election, Thomas Bach, the current president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — along with other members — was the public position is cautiously against the new American President. Bach will be in office until 2021, after the decision of the new City and his position, contrary or in favor, play a fundamental role in the voting of IOC members.
In fact, Trump’s position during the presidential race isn’t in line with the Olympic spirit, called Olympism. The separatist tone of the new American president contrasts the meaning of Olympism proposed by the IOC:
“Olympism is the philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of the body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy in effort, the education value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”
The race to host the 2024 Olympic Games is open and both cities do their bidding, but it can be said that Los Angeles loses some strength on the world stage with Trump’s election. It’s hard to imagine that the leader and athletes from countries that were part of Trump’s separatist speeches wouldn’t be at odds with Los Angeles, thus putting pressure on the IOC.
For those born in the 80s, especially Brazilians, the 1994 World Cup was a watershed. The Brazilian team was 24 years without winning a world title and a new economic phase, with the introduction of a new currency, was underway.
The 1994 World Cup, hosted in the USA, marked as the presentation of Americans to the world of football. Lalas and Cobi Jones led the team that reached the last 16’s and ended up being defeated 1x0 to Brazil — who would become champion.
The US World Cup got impressive numbers for the season and even by today’s standards. Some numbers from that issue:
- 68 thousand people went to the average audience per game
- More than 3.5 million attended the stadiums in that edition
- More than 91,000 people attended the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles to watch the final between Brazil and Italy
In numerical terms the 94th Cup was an absolute success, but the Americans didn’t stop there. 1994 was the first World Cup with 64 games — before they were 52 — a fact that can be explained by the economic and marketing intelligence of the Americans. In that edition the country raised more than 620 million dollars — record among editions of World Cup — and for base of comparison, Super Bowl collects about 182 million dollars.
After the World Cup, Major League Soccer (MLS), American National Championship, was founded and had its first edition in 1996. That is, the Americans warmed the public with the World Cup to finally launch their own football league.
What’s the connection with the next World Cup?
Recently, CONCACAF, the confederation that coordinates football in North America, announced the idea of hosting the 2026 World Cup. The venue would be shared between Mexico, USA and Canada, with the semifinals on Mexico and the grand finale in the USA. The practice is common in the world of football, such as EURO 2012 based in Poland in conjunction with Ukraine.
The problem now comes from Donald Trump’s policies toward Mexico.
During the presidential race, Trump went so far as to say that he would erect a wall on the US-Mexico border and that Mexicans would pay for the wall. After the announcement of the result, Trump went on to say that deport more than 3 million illegal immigrants in the country. Which would probably fall on many Mexicans living in this situation — in addition to other nationalities, of course.
The recent positioning of the new president, if not end the possibility, at least, cools the intentions of a World Cup with headquarters shared between countries.
The 2026 World Cup venue is due to take place in 2020, the year of new US presidential elections, but CONCACAF, not to miss the chance to bring the event to North America and has begun to study possibilities. Some representatives of the entity begin to suggest that only Mexico and Canada can be new allies to host the 2026 World Cup.
In fact, the US wants to host the 2026 World Cup. The event is part of the expansion plan for US football — which also has at least a semifinal in the next cup — around the world.
Among the American plans, 2018 is expected to be the year of the semifinals, 2022 the year of the final and 2026, who knows at home, the year of the title.
Never in history has a country hosted two editions of the World Cup in such a short space of time. The strategy of the Americans to ally themselves with the Mexicans is to shorten this time and ‘stick queue’ in order of headquarters, for who knows how to complete their planning on American soil. This would greatly boost the sport and local economy.
It remains to be seen how Trump and the US Organizing Committee will mediate this situation and what will be the position of CONCACAF, Mexico and Canada.
(to read part II click here)