Moscow – A joint bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico is favoured to win today’s vote to be the 2026 World Cup hosts against Morocco but Donald Trump could make a difference.
The US President Trump has voiced support for the home bid but also issued a threat:
“The US 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 US bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?” he tweeted in late April.
It remains to be seen whether some FIFA members will bow to this after consultations with their governments, and which members will vote in favour of Morocco as a sign of protest at the congress in Moscow.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed hope that the election won’t be influenced too much by politics, and that the congress would “take the right decision for football.”
Both candidates were making last-ditch efforts yesterday to convince the FIFA membership of their bid, such as at a meeting of Europe’s ruling body UEFA in a Moscow hotel, with former Brazil great Roberto Carlos part of Morocco’s team.
According to a high-ranking FIFA member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, Morocco could receive up to 45 of the 53 African votes, up to 25 of the Asian votes, and several from Europe.
The two confederations from the Americas, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, will back United 2026 while it is not clear how the Oceania members will vote among the 206 set to cast their ballot - with the four bidders not eligible and Kosovo reportedly not present.dpa