In the lead-up to the 2026 World Cup, localities around the United States have reportedly expressed mounting fears and discontent. The scale and scope of this event will rival any athletic event ever staged in the nation.

For efficiency’s sake, FIFA opted to take on the task of organizing the tournament’s logistics in-house. It was also aimed at having more say over the predicted $11 billion in sales that would result from the big event.

But since then, a number of problems have surfaced, as reported by The New York Times.

Lack of clarity is the main problem

Cities and stadiums chosen to host World Cup games have yet to receive crucial information, like the number of games they will host and the dates on which those games will take place. Because of this uncertainty, they have been unable to adequately prepare.

Furthermore, municipal governments have had difficulty due to the complexity and obscurity of sponsorship restrictions. The massive public expenditures required to organize World Cup tournaments have not yet been covered by sponsorship arrangements.

Another problem is that hiring new employees takes too long. Concerns have been made regarding FIFA’s capacity to efficiently run the event due to delays in recruiting experienced experts in key sectors including operations, marketing, and hospitality.

FIFA could ruin opportunity to successfully promote soccer in US

The New York Times’ Tarik Panja provides further information on the lingering ambiguity around key facts. The hosting rights were secured five years ago, but basic information like when the first game would be played is unclear.

Reports indicate that World Cup officials are worried about FIFA’s public relations problems, leadership ambiguity, and last-minute adjustments to preparations. As a result of everything that’s happened, they have had to continuously change their own plans.

Because of these difficulties and the sluggish pace of preparations, FIFA may be squandering a huge chance to promote soccer successfully in the US.

New York and Arlington, Texas are two of the leading candidates to host the final. FIFA are likely to make the announcement in the following weeks.

With so many questions still unanswered, this news has the potential to provide some answers. In the coming months, FIFA plans to disclose the whole schedule of matches, including the venue of the final.

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