Donald Trump Can’t Wait To Host A World Cup With Mexico
Trump is totally cool with Mexico now
Two years ago, Donald Trump opened his presidential campaign with an apocalyptic vision of foreigners assaulting our borders, dispensing an otherness that threatened the very fabric of his country. Those foreigners, mostly brown, and in this speech, very Mexican, would need to be thwarted with an expansive and expensive border wall that he alone could erect, a 1,900 mile monument he still promises to complete during his time in office. But, as the United States prepares a joint bid with Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup, the soccer federations for the three respective countries swear President Trump can’t wait to host the tournament with his neighbors to the south.
US Soccer President Sunil Gulati addressed Mexico’s participation in the World Cup during his opening comments, assuring everyone that whatever arbitrary, geographic boundaries that exist between the two nations’ melted away due to their shared love of the game. From USA Today:
“We have the full support of the United States government in this project,” Gulati said. “The president of the United States is fully supportive and encouraged us in having this joint bid. He is especially pleased that Mexico is part of this bid, and that’s in the last few days that we have gotten further encouragement on that. We’re not at all concerned about some of the issues that other people may raise. We looked at bidding alone, and again, decided we wanted to bid with our partners in North America, and we have a strong encouragement from President Trump to that very end.”
Deicio de María, president of the Federación Mexicana de Futból, parrotted the company line, strongly preferring that we—and this is my rough translation of his native Spanish—“stop bringin’ up old stuff.” More precisely, de María, like Gulati, pleaded that we stick to sports, stressing that this conference was “not a forum to talk about politics, it’s a forum to talk about soccer.
“What I am certain of,” María promised, “is that both countries will work tirelessly to build many soccer fields, so that the ball keeps rolling and so that our respective communities can enjoy the benefits that soccer creates.”
Gulati avoided discussing how “foreign policy”—such as President Trump’s caricature of Mexicans as a traveling cesspool of drugs, rape, and crime and Trump’s discriminatory travel ban that already caused complications for athletes traveling from Muslim-majority nations—could distract from the President’s enthusiasm for the Cup. “[President Trump is] fully supportive of the joint bid, encouraged with the joint bid, and is especially pleased in the fact that Mexico is participating in this joint bid with us.”
When Trump ranted about our impending doom, he exhibited rare foresight by giving himself a rhetorical opt-out clause. After transferring every racial undertone already believed about Mexicans to the foreground, he added that “some” Mexicans, he assumed, were “good people.” Now, we can see one area his exemption may apply—the beautiful game of fútbol.