Trump wants African countries to support North American World Cup bid

Trump tweets threat to opponents of US 2026 World Cup bid

United States President Donald Trump has called for African countries to support the North American joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

Upon receiving Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari on a diplomatic visit, Trump pulled the World Cup card, calling on "countries in the continent" to support America's World Cup bid.

"We will be watching very closely, and any help they could give us in that bid we would appreciate".

It is strongly against Federation Internationale de Football Association rules for governments to interfere in the host selection process, so Trump's comments could have the potential to hinder the United States' bid.

On Thursday, FIFA warned Trump of the ethics rules surrounding political influence. "We are grateful for that support and together our three countries are ready to welcome players and fans from around the world to an extraordinary FIFA World Cup in 2026".

Trump said he and Buhari did not discuss reports in January that said the USA president referred to African nations as "s--hole countries".

The announcement for the 2026 FIFA World Cup host nation (s) would be made in Moscow, Russia on June 13, 2018.

"You see what's happening with respect to trade and the United States".




The 2026 World Cup bid will be awarded this summer.

The North American bid so far has received the backing of the 10 South American countries and the six Central American countries minus Guatemala, which is suspended and not allowed to vote.

FIFA, global soccer's governing body, declined to comment on the Twitter post.

Despite those rules, Trump, who previously has shown little appetite for soccer, was perceived by the North American joint bid to simply be throwing his full support to its efforts.

From his remarks about the World Cup, it is not clear that Trump understands the process of how a host country is chosen.

Fifa's 207 member countries receive one vote each, regardless of size.

ESPN reported in February that the race between the joint bid and Morocco already was much closer than expected, due in part to Trump's foreign policies - including a travel ban against mostly Arab countries - and rhetoric in describing poorer countries, including those in Africa.

The host of the 2026 World Cup will be named June 13, a day before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

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