U.S. Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, who is also chairman of the 2026 Bid Committee , hasn’t announced whether he will seek a fourth term. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Regardless what transpires in the U.S. Soccer presidential election, the results will not impact what the United Bid Committee is doing to get the 2026 World Cup to be hosted in North America, John Kristick, committee executive director, says.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who is also chairman of the bid committee, has not announced whether he will run for a fourth term at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Fla. in February.
“Nothing changes for the task we have at hand, which is to pool together our bid to meet all the requirements that FIFA stipulates,” Kristick said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “So from that standpoint, nothing changes.”
Three contenders have thrown their hats into the ring — Steve Gans, Paul Lapointe and Eric Wynalda, the former U.S. Soccer standout.
Kristick said that he has tunnel vision for one thing and one thing only — making sure the U.S. meets all the criteria to send to FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland by the March 16 deadline.
“Every day I wake up and I look at the calendar between now and March 16,” he said. “I have 142 days to work with my colleagues in Canada and Mexico to meet the requirements that FIFA puts forward. And that’s what we’re really focused on.
“That being said, Sunil is a wonderful supporter. He’s chairman of the bid committee. He’s done a tremendous amount during the course of his career to support the game and [it’s] development. And we welcome the support he continues to give us on the bid. And what happens beyond that is really in the hands of the process of the governance of U.S. Soccer.”