President Trump is threatening to hold back support from countries that don’t endorse the joint bid by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup in North America. According to USA Today, while FIFA can’t fight against the North American bid simply due to Trump’s unwarranted hostility on Twitter, the soccer association’s rules regarding bidding do state that governments can exert “undue influence” on the process.
Morocco, an African nation with strong French historical ties, has also bid for the 2026 World Cup, with FIFA’s Congress meeting on June 13 to select that year’s host. To secure the position, Morocco or the U.S. would require 207 FIFA votes. If neither are chosen, the process would be reopened and elongated for an indeterminate amount of time.
“Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?” Trump tweeted on Thursday, in the same week he met with French President Emmanuel Macron. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted today that he stands firmly with Donald Trump in their efforts to secure a North American World Cup.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said he’ll be voting for Morocco as host, with FIFA declining to comment today about any “specific statements in connection with the bidding process.” Clearly, FIFA is trying to keep these political issues in-house. Member federations are explicitly asked to “agree and acknowledge” that government interests “may adversely affect the integrity of the bidding process”—with Trump actively disturbing that process.
Should the U.S. secure the host position, America will stage 60 games, with Canada and Mexico getting ten each. For now, all we can do is wait for June 13, and focus on the World Cup at hand—which kicks off the following day in Russia.