President of the United State Donald Trump called on Nigeria and other African nations on Monday to endorse the US-Canada-Mexico joint bid for the World Cup in 2026, binding it to the United States support for the African countries.
Trump said in a White House press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari :
“I hope all African countries and countries throughout the world, that we also will be supporting you, and that they will likewise support us in our bid along with Canada and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,”
“We will be watching very closely, and any help they can give us in that bid we would appreciate,”
The support call comes as world football’s governing body FIFA prepares to pick between the US-Mexico-Canada led bid and Morocco’s at a vote in Moscow on June 13.
Donald Trump seemed to attach the issue to Bilateral – trade, saying just ahead of his mention of the 2018 World Cup that the United States feeling of expectations “to be the economic partner of choice for nations across the continent and all around the world.”
“You see what’s happening with respect to trade and the United States. We are being respected again,”
Trump tweeted on Thursday :
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)?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2018
It was the second time in over a week that Trump said something regarding the World Cup bid, recommending a quid pro quo for the support of other countries.
Trump’s remarks, however, weighs troubles incurring the wrath of FIFA, which has strict rules disallowing government mediation in football matters.