Only in FIFA’s topsy-turvy world would a threat from Donald Trump be received well.
But that’s the case among some member nations of world soccer’s governing body amid the attention the U.S. president is showing them, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported Wednesday on FOX Sports 1, citing a high-ranking source connected to the joint USA/Mexico Canada bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The tweet Trump sent last week in support of North America’s World Cup bid contained a threat to countries which oppose the effort in favor of Morocco’s bid.
“Officials from all the North American bid countries … say the response to Trump’s tweet from voting countries has been positive, because it shows that the White House wants to host the World Cup and will work with FIFA’s requirements on allowing visas to foreigners coming to the U.S. for the tournament,” Wahl said.
High-ranking FIFA and continental confederations executives told ESPN’s Sam Borden in February that Morocco’s bid was gaining support within FIFA’s halls due to Trump’s policies, rhetoric and bitterness over the U.S. Justice Department’s role in the FIFA corruption and bribery scandal. However, Morocco’s momentum seems to have subsided, as North America bid officials work hard to convince countries of the merits of its World Cup bid.
FIFA will vote on the 2026 World Cup host on June 13.
Thumbnail photo via Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer/USA TODAY Network
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