The 2015 Gold Cup will go on as planned despite the arrests of several FIFA officials and indictments that alleged rampant corruption and bribery in the sport, especially within CONCACAF. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati confirmed that the tournament, slated to start on July 6, will not be affected, but the 2016 Copa Amerca could be in doubt.
Sunil Gulati sounded unsure as to whether Copa America Centenario will go on as planned. Immediate focus is on Gold Cup.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) May 28, 2015
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner was arrested on Wedenesday, as well as Jeffrey Webb, who took over as president following Warner's ousting for corruption. Several other officials in CONCACAF were named as well, calling into question how the confederation could put together a tournament this summer. That apparently will not be a problem.
Next summer's Copa America is a whole other problem. The tournament, normally contested by just South American teams, was to be played in the U.S. with North American, Central American and Caribbean teams, making it a super tournament for the championship of all the Americans. It was also supposed to be a cash cow. But the indictments alleged serious corruption related to the tournament and put it in doubt.
Unlike the Gold Cup, Copa America 2016 is not imminent. They don't have stadiums lined up yet or even a TV deal. That is all to be worked out so they would have little to unravel if they called it off and they would have a lot to put together in a short span if the indictments put a hold on planning for the competition. With several CONCACAF and South American officials arrested, some of whom were involved in planning the event, things are a bit of a mess right now and the easiest thing may be to call it off. That would be a big missed opportunity for all of the team, the sport in the U.S. and a chance to cash some really big checks, but the indictments have made for a very strange soccer world right now so who knows what will happen.
We know the Gold Cup will be played. After that, who knows? Even the U.S. Soccer president doesn't.