FIFA president Gianni Infantino attended the Dallas Cowboys home game against the New York Jets on Sunday, taking a close look at one of the venues reported to be vying for the right to host the 2026 World Cup final.
The Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is reported to be one of the contenders to host the final, with Metlife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, Los Angeles's SoFi Stadium and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta also in the running.
Infantino is spending more time in the United States ahead of the expanded 48-team tournament in 2026 which will be co-hosted with Canada and Mexico.
FIFA has opened new offices in Coral Gables, Miami and has begun recruiting staff to help with organisation of the tournament.
A source with knowledge of Infantino's trip said the FIFA chief had been invited to attend Sunday's game and had visited the venue together with Victor Montagliani, the head of CONCACAF, the regional confederation for football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The FIFA president is expected to be seen at more stadiums which will be hosting games in the tournament in the coming months, the source said.
Eric Shanks, president of Fox Sports, who are the broadcast rights holder for the World Cup in the United States, was also seen in the company of Infantino and Montagaliani at the NFL game.
A decision on which venue will host the final is expected from FIFA later this year, possibly as early as November, sources told AFP.
AT&T Stadium, which has a retractable roof, opened in 2009 and hosted the Super Bowl in February 2011 and has been the venue for a number of international football matches.