July 20 – Robert Kraft (pictured), owner of Super Bowl champions New England Patriots but, more significantly, a key player in the growth of soccer in the United States, has been named honorary chairman of the board for the joint 2026 World Cup bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
“Robert Kraft has been one of the most influential figures in modern professional sports in the United States,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “He is a leader who saw the potential of soccer in America early on and has been heavily invested in the success and growth of the game over the last three decades. Robert will be a great asset to our effort to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to North America.”
The billionaire businessman has been at the forefront of the growth of professional soccer in the United States, securing Foxboro Stadium as one of the nine host venues for the 1994 World Cup. Foxborough has since played host to the MLS Cup three times.
“My first exposure to world class soccer and the unique power of the FIFA World Cup came in 1994 when we hosted six games at Foxboro Stadium,” said Kraft in a statement.
“The FIFA World Cup`s ability to build bridges and bring people together is unlike any other medium. By 2026, more than 30 years will have passed since we hosted the FIFA World Cup and its return to North America is long overdue.”
“I am honored to be serving in this role and eager to do everything in my power to bring the FIFA World Cup back to North America to share the competition with all the deserving fans in the United States, Canada and Mexico.”
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