will Haiti and Africa remember this at the FIFA vote?
In five months the governing body of soccer, FIFA, awards the 2026 World Cup rights to either a United States, Canada and Mexico joint proposal or Morocco’s bid for the event. It was thought that the North American proposal was a sure thing and that it was just a matter of FIFA rubber stamping the proposal for the international sports competition. But that notion came before Donald Trump’s immigration meeting last week when he let certain Senate members know what he thought of some of the voting countries, 55 of them from Africa which also happens to house Morocco as one of its countries. Those nations are not happy with Trump. Morocco was considered not much of a contender when it matched up against the North American bid and it has a history of rejection as a host for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 World cup. Before Trump uttered his remarks which he contended he never said, Morocco had the support of the Confederation of African Football.
There are 211 FIFA members. Africa has more than a quarter of the voters. The North American bid is better from the stadium, infrastructure and access to money viewpoint than Morocco. In 2010, Morocco did get a good rating in its failed bid. But the 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams not 32 and Morocco may not be able to accommodate all the teams in a manner that FIFA wants. There were some assumptions that European countries would go for the North American bid but Trump’s visit to England has been canceled and it seems the United States has some relationships that have been slightly frayed on the continent. Canada and the US might have a North America Free Trade Agreement problem as that pact is under attack by Trump. Trump still wants his Mexican wall. Diplomacy plays a part in World Cup selection.
Don’t count out geopoltiics in the World Cup vote later this year.