US President Donald Trump doesn’t want any opposition to America’s bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Picture: AFP
US President Donald Trump doesn’t want any opposition to America’s bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Picture: AFP

Trump’s FIFA World Cup threat

PRESIDENT Donald Trump is threatening to withhold support from nations who don't back the joint bid by the US, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup.

Morocco also has bid to host football's showcase.

The FIFA Congress meets on June 13 in Moscow to select the 2026 host, and a majority of the 207 voting FIFA members is needed.

They also might pick neither bid, which would lead to the host process being reopened.

"The US had put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the US bid," Mr Trump wrote on his Twitter account on Friday (AEST).

"Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations?)"

 

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto replied to Trump's tweet, backing his stance on the joint bid.

"We can have differences but soccer unites us. Together we support the bid of Mexico, Canada and the USA to host the 2026 World Cup. @realDonaldTrump @JustinTrudeau," he posted.

The stance from Trump comes after a report from February where it stated the bid was under threat from Morocco thanks to US's controversial attempted travel ban.

A report from ESPN stated the bid was being challenged heavily by Morocco:

"The North American bid has had to counter an anti-American sentiment that stems largely from actions taken by President Donald Trump's administration," the report read.

"Those actions include a travel ban affecting mostly Arab countries, public comments that perpetuate stereotypes and the reported use of profanity in describing poorer countries."

President Trump met this week with France President Emmanuel Macron.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told L'Equipe this month that the FFF would vote for Morocco.

The French stance aligns with several European countries who over the past few months have announced their support for the tiny North African country.

Morocco's stadiums require significant upgrades to get close to matching the infrastructure boasted by the North Americans, whose bid includes 16 NFL venues awash in the luxury seating required by FIFA.

 

FIFA has pledged to publish the choice of each voting member, for transparency, meaning President Trump will know just which countries they "always support" have in deed lobbied against the bid.

- with AP



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