Trump threatens countries who don’t back US World Cup bid

The B.C. NDP said they wouldn’t support the bid earlier this year

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold support from nations who don’t back the joint bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup.

While FIFA has no authority to act against the North American bid over Trump’s words, the world soccer body’s rules of bidding note that governments can have an “undue influence” on the contest.

Morocco also has bid to host soccer’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 may pick neither bid, which would lead to the host process being reopened.

Trump tweeted on Thursday: “The U.S. has 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 U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”

Trump met this week with President Emmanuel Macron of France, which has historical ties to Morocco and where French is widely spoken.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told Paris-based sports daily L’Equipe this month his organization will vote for Morocco.

FIFA declined comment on Friday on any “specific statements in connection with the bidding process.”

READ MORE: B.C. dropped from North America bid for World Cup soccer

Still, its bidding regulations detail how candidates are responsible for their staff, consultants, and paid ambassadors but not governments.

Member federations are asked to “agree and acknowledge” that government activities “may adversely affect the integrity of the bidding process and create an undue influence.”

Previous Trump comments criticizing African countries in general are also expected to weigh on some voters’ minds. While Morocco is not allowed to vote, the 53 other African soccer federations can help pick a winner in Moscow.

The North American bid calls for the U.S. to stage 60 games in the 48-team tournament, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 each.

“Canada is fully behind the North American bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup — and we’re ready to welcome the world for an amazing tournament. Great to be partnered with @EPN and @RealDonaldTrump for this one,” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau write on Twitter on Friday, referencing the accounts of Trump and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

Coroners office reports 29 fatal drug overdoses in Langley in 2018

Dealing with drug overdoses, fatal or not, creates serious stress for first responders.

PHOTOS: ‘Enchanted Forest’ excursion unveils Aldergrove park’s new Nature Discovery Area

Atop the former Aldergrove Lake now sits a large “free play” adventure area for kids.

Aldergrove team could return as all-stars on ‘The Amazing Race Canada’

Mother and daughter duo given a second chance, though their fate rests in the hands of voters

B.C. researcher says device mimics parent’s touch to help babies cope with pain

Calmer device is a rectangular platform that replaces a mattress inside an incubator

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

98-year-old cyclist in critical condition after struck by car in Abbotsford

83-year-old driver stayed on scene and did not suffer any injuries in the incident

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

Most Read