Rabat - The North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup may have looked more convincing to FIFA’s task force, which gave it a higher score than the Moroccan bid. But that does not mean United 2026 is set to win hosting rights: Trump’s isolationism and brazenly undiplomatic messages may sink America’s superior-looking bid.
Rabat – The North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup may have looked more convincing to FIFA’s task force, which gave it a higher score than the Moroccan bid. But that does not mean United 2026 is set to win hosting rights: Trump’s isolationism and brazenly undiplomatic messages may sink America’s superior-looking bid.
United 2026, which is campaigning with the catchy “Unity, Certainty, Opportunity” slogan, may have more opportunities with its “technical superiority” to host the 2026 World, but it seems to lack certainty and unity, according to Bloomberg.
America’s declining influence
Commenting on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, Bloomberg wrote: “In the real world, the governments of the three partners have been anything but United. First there was Trump’s border wall, then visa restrictions and now tariffs that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed as ‘frankly insulting.’”
Trump’s statement that America would impose tariffs on US partners has sparked fierce reproach in the traditionally American-led Western Bloc. For example, France’s Emmanuel Macron urged the European Union to carve a new path for itself and undermine America’s leadership.
Expected impact of politics
For these reasons and more, hosts of commentators have suggested that politics will have a defining impact on the June 13 vote and that the outcome will be more surprising than expected.
Internally divided and gradually garnering the contempt of much of the world for President Trump’s unvarnished sense of superiority, America’s global aspirations—many see the North American bid as a de facto US bid—may suffer an unexpected blow in Moscow on Wednesday next week.
“The final decision will be down to politics as much as merit,” Petros Iosifidis, a professor at City University in London who is an expert in the political economy of television sports rights, told Bloomberg. Iosifidis went on to explain that the fact that the June 13 vote will be decided by national federations is a sure recipe for surprises.
He added, however: “What Trump has done in recent weeks has been to alienate his partners. How can these three countries go together for a solid bid right now? Whether we want it or not football always relates to politics.”
Others have maintained that Morocco 2026 was already strong enough in its own rights. They suggested that “the Trump factor,” as some have dubbed President Trump’s possible influence on the vote’s outcome, may just be a small surplus in Morocco’s already acquired fan base.
Many people in the third world feel that Morocco would bring more passion and excitement to football’s most celebrated tournament.
While Trudeau pilloried Trump for his “unacceptable… and insulting” tariffs, the Mexico Football Federation chairman, Decio de Maria, is applying a soothing balm to an obvious sense of uncertainty and ambivalence in the North American trio.
De Maria suggested that United 2026 focus on the bright side and shield its bid against the fragility that politics can bring. “In the past we had differences, today we have differences and tomorrow we will have differences. But we are here for football.”
But it remains to be seen whether such pronounced rhetoric of sticking together in spite of everything will have an impact when national federations convene in Moscow in four days time.