United States president Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted his support for the North American bid for the 2026 soccer World Cup and issued a veiled threat to nations that might oppose it.
Morocco is the only rival to a joint bid to stage the event from the United States, Canada and Mexico, with the FIFA Congress due to choose the hosts in Moscow on June 13.
“The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump tweeted.
“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”
Morocco Vs North America
The North American bid boasts large stadiums, excellent infrastructure and has promised to deliver an enormous $3.5 billion in revenue. The bid is also thought to be supported by FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.
BBC Sport this week reported that a senior FIFA source alleged that Infantino encouraged the World Cup evaluation team to find evidence that could block Morocco’s candidacy.
The U.S. previously hosted the World Cup in 1994.
Morocco would require massive investment to host the World Cup that will be a 48 team event for the first time.
The Morocco bid is expected to receive strong backing from FIFA’s African and Middle East countries.
France plans to back Morocco, the country’s football federation president told local media recently, while Russia, which will host the 2018 tournament from June 14-July 15, has said it will also vote for the north African nation’s bid.
FIFA member countries receive one vote each, no matter their size, which gives disproportionate influence to small soccer nations. Canada, Mexico, USA and Morocco are blocked from voting given their bids, leaving 207 eligible national associations.
A successful bid requires a simple 104 vote majority.