The White House has established a task force to help mitigate issues entering the US to prepare itself for millions of football fans entering the country for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The Daily Mail revealed that the task force will aim to make entering the US as seamless as possible due to the country’s stringent visa requirements, as citizens outside the country require to apply for an ESTA.
The US government is preparing itself three years before kick-off for the 2026 World Cup as it fears millions of fans, players and staff may overwhelm the borders.
FIFA will work alongside the US government and its counterparts to figure out how to mitigate making entering the country as time-consuming as possible. The US, Mexico and Canada are preparing for the largest World Cup to date, with the number of teams increasing from 32 to 48, with 104 matches to be played throughout the tournament.
Extra staff is already being prepared at embassies as extra staff may also be needed. There will also be special dispensations for those attending the tournament if their requirements to enter the country are not met. This may also relate to anybody with a criminal record.
There is also the issue of people attending the 2026 World Cup to transition from border-to-border on short notice once the knockout phases commence.
Despite this, Mexico and Canada have already implemented systems in place to ease the journey into their respective countries, particularly pertaining to US fans with visas.
A FIFA statement read: “FIFA are working with the authorities on all operational aspects related to the 2026 World Cup and more details will follow in due course. The full focus now is on the women’s World Cup.”