Pelé says U.S. deserves to host 2026 World Cup

Written By Travis Durkee
(Getty Images)

The United States lost out on its chance to host the 2022 World Cup, but if soccer legend Pelé has his way, the 2026 edition of the World Cup will be held on American soil.

“Oh, yes. No doubt. No doubt,’’ Pelé told the New York Post when asked is the U.S. deserved to host the next available World Cup. “I am one who did some work for the World Cup to be here, and the organizers were perfect. They deserve it, no doubt, for the vote in FIFA to give them the next World Cup.’’

MORE: US downs Mexico in friendly | Wambach, Solo pegged to lead women's national team

FIFA awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup amidst controversy and allegations of corruption, beating out the United States and three other finalists, but that’s neither here nor there at this point. Pelé said the USMNT needs to focus on becoming more experienced under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

“People don’t understand: The National Team of America is a very good team,’’ Pelé said. “What they need is to have more exchange of experience. You don’t see them play in South America, in Europe, in Africa. It’s this experience they need. It’s important to get this experience, no doubt.’’

Bidding for the 2026 World Cup starts later this year, with FIFA planning to announce the host in 2017.

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