On the grand scale of items that need a United States Presidential seal of approval, a bid for soccer’s World Cup isn’t at the top of the agenda. But 44 United States Senators from both parties are asking Donald Trump to support a United States-Mexico-Canada 2026 World Cup bid. It was thought that the three country bid would be a winner, so much so that just one other country, Morocco, decided to go after the international event. But there could be snags in the three North American countries’ bid. Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto will not be meeting as planned in March because the Mexican President “called off the plan after Trump would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico’s position that it would not fund construction of a border wall,” according to the Washington Post. There is also some diplomatic work that needs to be done before March 16 as the governing body of soccer, FIFA, has some requirements that bidders must submit by that date. The U.S. government has to guarantee visa-free travel, along with work permits for the entire World Cup travelling party including 47 foreign teams, broadcasters, officials and media covering the event along tax exemptions as hosts for the tournament.
In January, Trump upset a good many FIFA voters after it was revealed that Trump, at an immigration meeting, let certain Senate members know what he thought of African countries in derogatory terms. Fifty five out of FIFA’s 211 voters are African country members. 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. Diplomacy plays a part in World Cup selection which will take place later this year.
Trump is having problems with the Mexican President.