In Depth

Donald Trump: What it means for sport in the US and beyond

Republican's shock victory could have a wide-ranging effect on the World Cup, Olympics and the Premier League

onald Trump's victory in the US presidential race is expected to have major ramifications for sport in the US and beyond - Friday's World Cup qualifier between the US and Mexico is already threatening to become a flashpoint.

The shock election result provides an "ugly backdrop to a rivalry that has already had its fair share of nasty incidents", says The Guardian. "There is a real fear that the rhetoric Trump used could make its way into the stands and streets around the stadium, targeting Mexican fans."

Whatever happens at the match, which takes place in Colombus, Ohio, one of the key swing states that propelled Trump towards the White House, the president-elect's polarising campaign will "resonate far longer than just one game", says the LA Times.

So what sports and sporting events could be affected by a Trump presidency?

Olympics 2024

Three cities are in the running to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games - Los Angeles, Paris and Bucharest.

But officials from the LA campaign "are concerned that Trump's comments about Muslims, Mexicans and women could influence International Olympic Committee voters, who will decide on the host city on 13 September 2017", says the International Business Times.

"The charismatic Bill Clinton was a key component of Atlanta's successful bid for the 1996 event, and Trump will become a crucial factor in LA's attempt to host the Games."

World Cup 2026

"There's no question that the US is in pole position for football's 2026 tournament," says the BBC. However, Fifa's plans to expand the number of teams taking part to 40 or more has led to a shift towards joint bids from more than one country.

The US, then, may need to partner with Mexico to stage the event. However, Trump's plans to scrap a trade deal with the country, build a wall along their borders - and make the Mexicans pay for it - and deport illegal immigrants could derail that plan.

"A joint bid would mean the governments of both countries co-operating closely and that now looks a remote possibility given the potential for clashes between the US and Mexico over trade, immigration and security," says The Times.

The BBC also queries whether the US-led investigation into Fifa corruption will continue with Trump as president.

The Premier League

Major League Soccer's growth in popularity has made the US an attractive proposition for players, but that could be affected by Trump's presidency, which could also have an impact on the Premier League by restricting the opportunities for young English players.

"Trump's plans for immigration include limiting the number of people coming in and suspending visas to certain countries," says The Sun. That limits the options of MLS clubs looking to sign new players. What's more, Trump "insulted almost every ethnic group under the sun during his campaign and minority players could view America as unwelcome".

The result "could be an even greater influx of foreign players to the Premier League", claims the paper.

However, lower taxes could make the MLS an even more attractive option for English players at the end of their careers - provided the UK and US remain friends.

However, stricter visa requirements could have the opposite effect for pre-season tours.

Manchester United

Man United's owners, the Glazer family, backed Trump in the election, but his victory could have a negative impact at Old Trafford and end up causing them "great concern", says the Sun.

"United have been listed on the New York stock exchange since 2012, so a downturn across the pond could impact [manager Jose] Mourinho's men," it adds. "If Trump's economic reforms are met with uncertainty, then shares in the Red Devils could lose value."


Trump is a keen golfer and owns no fewer than 17 courses around the world, including Turnberry in Scotland, which hosted the Open in 2009. Will he try to use his influence to the benefit of his courses? And what sort of relationship does the sport want with Trump after his comments about women, Muslims and Mexicans?

"In truth, golf does not know what to think as it continues to tiptoe its path around this moral maze," says James Corrigan in the Daily Telegraph. "For the past 18 months, it has been wondering what to do about Trump and the influence he bears as an owner of some of the most high-profile courses."

Turnberry will not host the Open in 2020 or 2021, reports IB Times, adding: "It is clear Trump's ownership of the course has irked some."

But the president-elect now has huge influence and Corrigan asks: "How can the game possibly turn itself away from the President of the United States?"


The prospect of a trade war between the US and its trading partners looms large thanks to Trump's protectionist rhetoric - and that could undermine the efforts of US sports to find a global audience.

"America's three big sports have ambitious plans for overseas expansion," says the BBC. "Games have been played in recent years in cities such as London, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Shanghai and Berlin."

The NFL's London games look secure, but others may not be. "Would countries such as China, facing possible tariffs of 45 per cent, be open to hosting games for the principal benefit of US franchises and permitting beneficial tax arrangements for visiting teams and leagues?" asks the corporation.


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