Mac Engel

FIFA has easy decision on 2026 World Cup. Don't be surprised to see it miss

Mexico, Canada and the United States will find out on June 13 if it will be awarded the 2026 World Cup by FIFA. If successful, Arlington and Jerry World are likely to be selected for matches, as well as a training center.
Mexico, Canada and the United States will find out on June 13 if it will be awarded the 2026 World Cup by FIFA. If successful, Arlington and Jerry World are likely to be selected for matches, as well as a training center. Special to the Star-Telegram

UPDATE: FIFA ANNOUNCED ON WEDNDSDAY MORNING THAT THE "UNITED BID" COMPRISED OF THE UNITED STATES, CANADA AND MEXICO HAS BEEN AWARDED THE 2026 WORLD CUP.

Dan Hunt has been here before so allow the man some cynicism when it comes to FIFA's relationship with transparency and the truth.

The world's largest governing body of soccer is scheduled to announce the destination for the 2026 World Cup on Wednesday, and anyone in their right mind knows that the U.S./Canada/Mexico bid should win.

Arlington and Jerry World should host a World Cup match and be a training site.

And yet anyone with knowledge of FIFA and its lust for bribes and kickbacks will tell you that Morocco has a really good shot to land 2026.

Hunt, the president of FC Dallas, and his brother, Clark, the team's owner, have been in this process since they were kids. Their father, the late Lamar Hunt, was instrumental in the U.S. hosting the World Cup in 1994.

In 2010, Clark Hunt was confident that the United States would be award a World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Instead, Russia was handed 2018, and Qatar received 2022.

The whole process was later be exposed for what it was — a series of bribes and kickbacks to decision makers. FIFA's corrupt leader, Sepp Blatter, was forced to resign and the process was put under a global microscope.

"The bid process has changed so much since 2010; the documentation has changed so much and the amount of detail and social responsibility implemented by FIFA is pretty amazing," Dan Hunt said in a phone interview. "I do feel really good about our chances; the infrastructure is already built here and the stadiums are built.

"I know Morocco has put together a very strong bid. I am positive overall about it, but I feel like there are some political issues that exist after our FBI got involved in exposing some of the previous processes, and that does generate some negative connotations."

Despite the "improvements" there is no way to trust any part of this selection process when FIFA is involved. FIFA has only itself to blame for its tarnished reputation, which is somehow worse than that of the International Olympic Committee when it comes to the bidding process.

Far too often the bids involving FIFA and the Olympics go to locales that end up in debt after they build too many venues that quickly fall apart when the region has no use for them.

See Athens, Greece. See Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

The decision for the 2026 World Cup is no decision.

Arlington and the world will know Wednesday if FIFA has changed.

Expect the U.S/Canada/Mexico bid to win. But be prepared to be irate when Morocco lands it.

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