That means an expected increase in global viewership and all-important advertising revenue — ideal for a ratings-obsessed billionaire US leader and former reality TV star.
While American lawmakers were already jockeying for matches in their cities — “Miami and Orlando should be picked to host,” tweeted Senator Bill Nelson of Florida — at least one congresswoman suggested a political takeaway for Trump.
“America wins when we work together w friends and neighbors,” House Democrat Kathy Castor tweeted. “I hope people learn a lesson here.”
With US unilateralism and travel restrictions rattling governments worldwide, Trump himself provided FIFA president Gianni Infantino with letters essentially assuring that the president’s hardline position on visas would not apply to World Cup attendees, The New York Times reported.
Mexico, whose president has twice scrapped plans for a visit to Washington to meet with Trump, has fumed over the brash American’s grandstanding about immigration restrictions and building a border wall.
But Juan Luna, a vendor in Mexico City, downplayed the impact on the tournament of the recent political tensions between the three host countries.
“Sports is one thing, politics is another,” Luna, 66, told AFP.
“We have to look at that (the diplomatic strains) from another viewpoint, we have to deal with it in another place and time.”