The world of sports is no stranger to intense battles, but the tug of war between Stan Kroenke and FIFA over the hosting rights of the World Cup promises to be an epic showdown. This battle is not just about prestige and glory; it’s a high-stakes game of power, money, and the future of one of the world’s most-watched sporting events.
The U.S. as a World Cup Host
The United States has a rich history of hosting World Cup events, with Southern California playing a significant role in this legacy. The Rose Bowl, now known as Dignity Health Sports Park, hosted the final matches for the 1994 men’s tournament, the 1999 women’s event, and a hastily organized women’s competition in 2003. However, the script is about to change dramatically in 2026.
The 2026 World Cup
The 2026 World Cup, featuring a 48-team men’s tournament, is set to be the largest in history. It will be a shared effort by the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, with more than half the games, including the final, scheduled for the U.S. However, the question of where the final will take place has become a heated battle.
The Key Players
Behind the scenes of this hosting struggle are two major players: FIFA and Stan Kroenke.
FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, is eyeing the opulence and faux privacy offered by the three-year-old, $5.5 billion SoFi Stadium complex. The luxurious amenities and the allure of the surrounding metropolitan market, including Hollywood and the entertainment industry’s moguls, are hard for FIFA to resist.
Stan Kroenke’s Ambition
Stan Kroenke, owner of SoFi Stadium, the NFL’s Rams, and English Premier League’s Arsenal, is not just interested in staging any World Cup game. He has his sights set on hosting the final or another game of significant importance.
However, there’s a catch. The financial terms set by FIFA are not in favor of the local organizers, who are burdened with expenses like security, traffic control, and sanitation while FIFA takes the lion’s share of the revenue.
The Threat of Withdrawal
Kroenke’s determination to secure the final might lead to a high-stakes gamble. Some reports suggest that if SoFi Stadium doesn’t get the final or another substantial match, Kroenke could withdraw his venue from the tournament entirely. It’s a power move that has raised eyebrows and caused speculation.
The Negotiation Game
The battle between FIFA and Kroenke is not just about prestige and money. Negotiations will be the key factor in determining the outcome. While Kroenke holds a strong hand, FIFA is not a pushover, as demonstrated in their dealings with Qatar.
Kroenke might want the final, but SoFi Stadium isn’t up to FIFA’s standards for such a prestigious event. The AT&T Stadium, located outside Dallas, could be a more suitable choice for FIFA.
The Inside World Cup hosting battle between Stan Kroenke and FIFA is a power struggle with millions at stake. While Kroenke may be willing to flex his muscles, FIFA’s decision will ultimately shape the destiny of this grand sporting event. As the negotiations unfold, the world watches with bated breath to see where the 2026 World Cup will finally call home.
Inside the World Cup Hosting Battle: FAQs on FIFA vs. Stan Kroenke
Are FIFA & Kroenke a Problem at SoFi Stadium?
Tensions are brewing at SoFi Stadium, initially chosen as one of the venues for the 2026 World Cup. Reports suggest that a clash of interests is occurring between FIFA and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. According to insights from The Athletic, the Kroenke family has voiced concerns regarding the terms of the agreement, specifically the allocation of funds among FIFA, the city, and the stadium.
The negotiations surrounding the 2026 World Cup hosting rights have left a cloud of uncertainty over SoFi Stadium’s involvement. The question remains: Will FIFA and Kroenke find a common ground, or will this conflict impact the prestigious event’s outcome?
Will SoFi Stadium Host the 2026 World Cup?
In November 2021, a delegation from FIFA made a crucial visit to SoFi Stadium. Stan Kroenke, the owner of the stadium, has a bold ambition: he aspires for his venue to host the final of the 2026 World Cup. However, the terms he seeks may not align with FIFA’s expectations, casting doubt on whether any World Cup matches will grace the Los Angeles area.
The fate of SoFi Stadium’s World Cup aspirations hangs in the balance as negotiations unfold, leaving soccer fans and stakeholders eagerly anticipating the ultimate decision.
Where Will FIFA & Kroenke Play in 2026?
For the 2026 World Cup, several Mexican cities, including Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey, are set to host matches. Canada is also represented by Toronto and Vancouver. Originally, Kroenke’s SoFi Stadium was among the chosen venues. However, recent reports indicate mounting tensions between FIFA and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, raising questions about the stadium’s role in the event.
As the countdown to 2026 continues, the soccer world eagerly awaits the resolution of this conflict and the final list of hosting venues.
Is Kroenke’s Stadium Too Small?
First and foremost, there’s a size issue with Kroenke’s stadium. FIFA’s guidelines, which they’ve occasionally disregarded, stipulate a minimum capacity of 80,000 for a World Cup final. However, SoFi Stadium falls short, having accommodated only 70,048 for Super Bowl LVI and 72,628 for the college football national championship game in January.
The stadium’s capacity remains a critical factor in the ongoing debate over whether it can meet FIFA’s stringent standards for hosting a World Cup final.
Has Zidane Won a World Cup?
Zinedine Zidane, who earned 108 caps representing France, achieved World Cup glory in 1998. Zidane’s remarkable performance included scoring a brace in the final match and earning a place on the All-Star team. This triumph catapulted him to the status of a national hero in France, and he was honored with the Legion of Honour in 1998. Additionally, he secured victory in UEFA Euro 2000 and was bestowed with the title of Player of the Tournament.
Zidane’s legacy is marked by his significant contributions to France’s World Cup success and his remarkable skills on the football pitch.
Who Knocked Out Argentina in 2006?
In the 2006 World Cup, Jose Pekerman’s Argentina faced a tough challenge in the quarter-finals. They were ultimately defeated by Germany in a nail-biting penalty shootout, marking the end of their campaign in the tournament.
The 2006 World Cup quarter-final encounter between Argentina and Germany was a memorable clash, with Germany emerging victorious in the dramatic shootout.