COLUMBUS, Nov 9 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 09th Nov, 2016 ) : United States captain Michael Bradley says he expects the team's supporters to show respect to Mexican fans in Friday's World Cup qualifier which comes in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential vote. Trump's controversial rhetoric about Mexican illegal immigrants during the campaign adds to the already strong rivalry between the two nations on the football field, but Bradley said he hopes that won't be a factor at the stadium.
"I would hope our fans do what they always do, which is support our team in the best, most passionate way possible. I would hope they give every person in that stadium the respect they deserve, whether they are American, Mexican, neutral," Bradley told reporters ahead of training on Wednesday, just hours after Trump's acceptance speech. "I hope every person that comes to the stadium comes ready to enjoy what we all want to be a beautiful game between two sporting rivals that have a lot of respect for each other, and hope that it's a special night in every way," added Bradley, whose father Bob is manager of English Premier League club Swansea City.
Trump's victory could resound further through football in America if his election affects US chances of mounting a successful bid for the 2026 World Cup. The US has been considered a frontrunner for the 2026 tournament even before formally announcing a bid, but USA Soccer president Sunil Gulati told USA Today in June that such a bid would be aided by "having somebody in the White House that gives the country an outward-looking view". Whether Trump could win over FIFA voters remains to be seen when campaigning starts in the New Year, with a decision due in 2020. In the meantime, US goalkeeper Tim Howard said he expected the excitement around Friday's game to be purely sporting.