FIFA announced today that the 2026 World Cup Finals (and please note that is the appropriate name for what begins tomorrow in Russia) will be played in the USA, Mexico and Canada. All three countries will receive automatic qualification for the Finals. The field will be expanded to 48 teams with additional slots likely awarded to COMEBOL, UEFA and CONCACAF. The USA will host 60 of the 80 games and Mexico and Canada 10 apiece. All games after the Round of 16 will be played in the USA with the Championship Game in New Jersey. Here’s hoping that Houston and Arlington will get games. Red’s goal – assuming he makes it that long – will be to attend at least one game in the USA, Mexico and Canada.
FIFA has elected Sepp Blatter to a fifth term to lead the organization which almost single-handedly controls the biggest sport in the world. The 209 FIFA member federations voted to keep Blatter despite the allegations of massive corruption occurring during Blatter’s watch. The 79-year-old Blatter outpolled Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan by 133-73 in the first round of voting. The Prince, who promised of a clean break from Blatter’s legacy of corruption, conceded defeat.
“I like you, I like my job,” Blatter said to cheering voters. “I am not perfect, nobody is perfect, but we will do a good job together I am sure.”
Blatter isn’t on the same continent with perfect. Blatter wouldn’t know perfect if Red attached it to briefcase filled with 100’s and handed it to him. And it is hard to fathom what FIFA members considered to be a “good job.” If their definition includes almost unlimited opportunities for fraud, graft and corruption, then Blatter is probably the right guy.
Red loves his soccer, but this stain on the world’s greatest game must be expunged. Red urges all soccer fans to write their national federation demanding that they not participate in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups unless and until a full and complete investigation is undertaken into the award of the World Cup Finals to Russia and Qatar. Both awards are clearly tainted by massive corruption. Heads need to roll. And Blatter’s should be the first.