Donald Trump has recently tweeted a threat to the countries that don’t vote for the joint North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Such tweets have so far played in favor of Morocco’s rival bid to host the tournament.
“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 said.
University of Michigan professor Andrei Markovits, co-author of Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism, believes Trump’s comments could prove fatal.
In response to Trump’s rhetoric, FIFA has rejected such statements that may have undue influence on the bidding process.
Trump’s blunders are indirectly boosting Morocco’s chances to win the vote of the 206 football associations on June 13 as the North African country capitalizes on its security, stability and tourist-friendliness in contrast to the security-approach governing the US visa procedures.
U.S. foreign policy under Trump’s administration has created more foes than friends globally. Trump’s hostile remarks against Muslims, Africans, black Americans and Hispanics may cost the US the votes of many countries in Latin America and beyond.
After describing African countries as “shithole countries” who incidentally account for 54 votes, more than half of the 104 necessary to win, Trump tried to make up bluntly for his mistake at a press conference with Nigeria’s President asking for African votes, yet without apologizing for his shameful remarks.
Morocco’s bid so far secured the support of the bulk of Africa and the Arab and Muslim world with many countries in Europe pledging to vote for it as it offers a compact tournament on Europe’s doorsteps.