This photo taken on Monday, April 23, 2018, shows an aerial view of the World Cup Luzhniki stadium with the Moscow River and the State University in the background in Moscow, Russia. The Luzhniki stadium will hold the 2018 World Cup final. 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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dmitry Serebryakov

Trump threatens countries who don’t back U.S. World Cup bid

WASHINGTON — 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.”

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.

Just Posted

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Canada open to growing trade with China now that USMCA is a done deal: PM

TORONTO — Canada is open to doing more business with China now… Continue reading

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

VANCOUVER — Police departments across Canada are fully prepared for marijuana legalization… Continue reading

Campers will be able to smoke cannabis at campsites in Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada says visitors should do their research on cannabis before going… Continue reading

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to deny Canadian producers’ ‘competitive advantage’

WASHINGTON — An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that… Continue reading

Most Read