FIFA has approved Sofia Huerta’s request for a one-time change of national association, switching her allegiance from Mexico to the United States after appearing competitively for El Tri at the U-20 level. Huerta was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL.
Those mostly meaningless FIFA rankings will become more meaningful than ever at next summer’s World Cup. FIFA announced Thursday the 2018 World Cup draw will seed teams into four pots based on FIFA rankings at the end of October.
FIFA, the organization whose scandalous bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups revealed rampant institutional corruption, has opened disciplinary proceedings against England’s Dele Alli for his obscene gesture on Monday.
While the U.S. seems pretty confident it’ll lock down the bid to host the 2026 World Cup along with Mexico and Canada, never count out FIFA’s ability to shun the responsible decision by opting for the absurd. How else do you explain Russia and Qatar hosting the next two World Cups? Or these five awful hosts?
With that in mind, here are five places that FIFA is probably considering for the next few World Cups.
Russian hackers Fancy Bears dropped a complete non-story this week regarding the use of banned substances in soccer. You see, the typical SHOCKING TRUTHS UNCOVERED AND REVEALED that we’ve come to associate with hacking were nonexistent in this information dump, which is insane given football’s history of being corrupt to the core.
For many, there can only be one winner in the race for the FIFA women’s player of the year award in 2017, and that’s Australia’s Sam Kerr. The 23-year-old attacker led Perth Glory to the final of Australia’s W-League while finishing second in goals, she finished top scorer at the Tournament of Nations as Australia defeated hosts United States and she’s scored 11 goals for Sky Blue FC in NWSL play.
The United Bid Committee, the organizers of the joint 2026 World Cup bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico, announced the 49 stadiums and 44 cities across the three countries that are currently being considered for the event. With 20-25 venues anticipated in the final decision, there’s certainly a lot for the committee to consider before submitting their final bid by March 16, 2018.
Iran is one of three clubs to have qualified for the 2018 World Cup, but that could be in jeopardy.
According to the latest FIFA World Rankings, Switzerland will approach the 2018 FIFA World Cup bracketed amongst the traditional favorites of Brazil, Germany and Argentina. Those are the only three nations above them in the latest August rankings. It’s easy to laugh at the Swiss opening up a sizable gap over the traditional European powers of France, Spain, Italy and England, but there’s no reason to not have them pegged as dark horses in Russia.