The world awaits Trump’s impact on Sports

Donald Trump has just been elected into power as the 45th President of the United States and there’s a lot of uncertainty over his policy plans and what they’ll mean for America and for the world.

His victory will also have an impact on a range of sporting issues, including the US 2024 Olympic bid, the investigation into FIFA, the 2026 World Cup and the continued global expansion of American football, baseball and basketball.

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The big question is, what impact will President Trump have on the Los Angeles bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics?

Trump’s victory could be highly significant for LA’s hopes and could boost its main rival, Paris.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to hold a vote to decide the host of the Games next September with Budapest the only other candidate.

Back in August, LA’s mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, acknowledged IOC members had concerns over Trump.

“For us, I think IOC members might have said certain things,” he said. “An America that turns inward, like any country that turns inward, isn’t good for world peace, isn’t good for progress, isn’t good for all of us.”

IOC president Thomas Bach also spoke in the summer about a “world of selfishness where certain people claim to be superior to others”. That was seen as a clear reference to Trump’s proposed plans that include potential restrictions on Muslim immigration and the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.

Trump’s plans may not sit well with IOC voters, drawn from a range of countries and cultures.

“They wonder, ‘Is America going to take this strange turn?” added Garcetti.

The US are clear favourites for the 2026 World Cup but will a Trump administration affect how it will be staged if it wins the bid?

There’s no question that the US is in pole position for football’s 2026 tournament.

Football’s world governing body FIFA is deliberating over expanding the tournament to 40 or even 48 teams.

The regional football chief, Victor Montagliani, has been careful to keep all options regarding some combination of a US/Mexico/Canada hosting arrangement on the table.

But what effect will Trump’s plan to build a wall along the US border with Mexico – and to make them pay for it – have on relations between the two countries?

Trump’s plan to deport illegal immigrants, his so-called “bad hombres”, could also strain relations.

World Cup bids only succeed with firm government backing and solid financial guarantees. It’s difficult to imagine there would be a friendly atmosphere of co-operation over a joint tournament with such big issues being argued over at senior levels within both governments.

Trump has threatened to end several trade deals. What impact will that have on the growth of American sport outside its borders?

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10:  Donald Trump tees off from the third after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial £100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Trump has a firm affinity for golf, owning many of the world’s most prestigious courses in the US, Scotland and Dubai.

He’s also tweeted sporadically about NFL and is friends with New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady chats with Donald Trump (Photo by Donna Connor/WireImage)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady chats with Donald Trump (Photo by Donna Connor/WireImage)

The leadership of America’s three big sports has ambitious plans for overseas expansion. Games have been played in recent years in cities such as London, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Shanghai and Berlin.

But economists warn that tariffs could lead to a trade war between the US and its trading partners.

Would countries such as China, facing possible tariffs of 45%, be open to hosting games for the principal benefit of US franchises and permitting beneficial tax arrangements for visiting teams and leagues?

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, insists “London is open” and is encouraging of American sports teams coming over to visit. That won’t change – but US teams must now consider the likely impact of a radically different global economic environment.

The US Department of Justice launched criminal action in May 2015 against FIFA officials. But will President Trump and whoever he appoints as Attorney General still consider it a priority?

The wheels of justice will continue to turn in the US with ongoing attempts to extradite former FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago. Another Vice-President ensnared in one of the early morning raids at a Zurich hotel in June 2015, Jeffrey Webb, is awaiting sentencing by the US courts.

But will the new Attorney General, whoever gets the job, continue to have the appetite to pursue the case against officials whose activities are listed in a lengthy indictment but not yet actively pursued?

The whole world, especially the Americans are anxiously waiting to see how it all plays out.

 

 

 

Aisha JM