The US president issued a thinly veiled threat to nations lobbying against a joint North American bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In a tweet, Trump threatened consequences for supporters of the rival Moroccan bid.
President Donald Trump late on Thursday hinted at political consequences for nations who lobby against the United States' joint North American bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The US has submitted a joint bid alongside Canada and Mexico for the right to host the 23rd edition of the tournament — the first time it will have taken place on the continent since 1994.
The only rival bid comes from Morocco, which failed in recent bids to host the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments.
Read more — Joint World Cup 2026 bid very much a US affair
But in a tweet, President Trump issued a thinly veiled threat to countries considering lobbying against the joint North American bid.
"The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid [with] Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup," wrote the President. "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the US bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?"
Morocco considered the underdogs
The joint USA-Canada-Mexico bid is in pole position and can already count on the support of CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) and CONMEBOL, the South American Football Confederation.
Yet despite apparently cordial meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron over the course of an official state visit in recent days, the head of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noel Le Graet, has already announced his federation's intention to vote for Morocco.
"I can't see why I would not support a country so close to us," said Le Graet earlier this month of the former French colony.
Read more — Morocco launches bid to host 2026 World Cup
Germany's football association, the DFB, is yet to comment on its voting intentions.
Were Morocco to win, it would be the first ever North African World Cup and the only the second time the tournament has been awarded to the continent as a whole (after South Africa in 2010).
The right to host the 2026 tournament, which will be expanded to include 48 competing teams for the first time, will be awarded at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13 at the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
mf/msh (AFP, SID)