USA president Donald Trump tweeted support for an American bid to co-host the 2026 soccer World Cup with a veiled threat against nations that might oppose it, prompting FIFA to refer to guidelines that warn against political influence over bids.
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 US 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 dont support us (including at the United Nations)?”
Soccer’s governing body FIFA has faced repeated ethics questions over past bids to host the tournament.
In a statement to Reuters, FIFA said: “As a general rule, we cannot comment on specific statements in connection with the bidding process. We can only refer to the FIFA Regulations for the selection of the venue for the final competition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and in particular to the Bid Rules of Conduct incorporated therein.”
The bid rules contain an explicit warning against activities by bidding country governments which “may adversely affect the integrity of the Bidding Process and create an undue influence on the Bidding Process.”
The Moroccan bid team declined to comment on Trump’s tweet.