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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois


March 6, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC — Representative Darin LaHood and fellow co-chairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02), and Rep. Ruben Kihuen (NV-04) introduced a resolution last night to express support for North America’s united bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This united bid seeks to host the games across the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

“As the co-chairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus, we have each seen how the sport of soccer not only celebrates the values of teamwork and camaraderie, but can also bridge cultural differences and foster goodwill by bringing teams and fans together across the globe,” said the co-chairs. “That is why we are proud to introduce H.Con.Res. 111, which voices the House of Representatives’ strong support for the united bid of North America to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Hosting the games would draw millions of fans, bringing major economic benefits to the United States and shine a light on soccer’s growing popularity in North America. The 2026 FIFA World Cup would help us and our friends in Canada and Mexico capitalize on this momentum, and it is our hope that the selection committee will recognize the value North America presents and award the united bid.”

Soccer remains one of the most popular sports in the world and in the United States, where there are an estimated 25 million players nationwide. The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer competition featuring the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) men’s national teams. The United States previously hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994, and is still considered a success and a catalyst for increased interest in the sport across North America. Its record-setting attendance of over 3.5 million has remained unmatched to this day.

The Congressional Soccer Caucus is an organization that includes members of Congress and their staff to promote, educate, and raise awareness on issues, both domestic and international, pertaining to the sport. The Caucus works predominantly with the US Soccer Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to bring soccer to children across the country. Congressman LaHood became a co-chair of the Congressional Soccer Caucus in 2017, hailing from a district with a proud and successful involvement in the sport. This includes youth and high school programs, along with the eight college and university programs across central and west-central Illinois. In addition, Chicago contains both the world headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation and the Chicago Fire, one of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) original clubs.