Ex-FIFA Head Sepp Blatter Endorses Morocco For 2026 World Cup Bid Over U.S.
The United States has been pushing for a 2026 FIFA World Cup hosting gig for quite some time, but Sepp Blatter does not think this is the best idea.
2026 FIFA World Cup U.S. Hosting Bid News
The Swiss former FIFA president – who resigned from World soccer’s governing body following a 17-year tenure along with other top executives in 2015 after a long investigation into financial misconduct – has officially voiced his support for the 2026 World Cup to be held in Morocco, despite the U.S.’s bid, a three-way application with Canada and Mexico.
Referencing the joint bid from the North American countries, Blatter tweeted early Thursday: “World Cup 2026: Co-Hosting rejected by FIFA after 2002 (also applied in 2010 and 2018). And now: Morocco would be the logical host! And it is time for Africa again!”
— Joseph S Blatter (@SeppBlatter) February 22, 2018
Blatter previously championed for the competition to be held in another African country: in South Africa in 2010.
Morocco had previously vied to host the Africa Cup of Nations, although its bid was rejected and Equatorial Guinea won the hosting bid after Morocco was criticized for its handling of the Ebola crisis in 2015.
The last time two or more countries co-hosted the World Cup was in 2002, when the tournament was played in South Korea and Japan.
Nigeria applied to co-host with Benin, Ghana and Togo in 2010, but Blatter stated at the time that FIFA would not accept co-hosts going forward except in “exceptional circumstances.” A joint bid from Tunisia and Libya that year was also rejected.
Before Russia was selected as the host for the upcoming 2018 World Cup — which will begin in June — the FIFA executive committee voted against joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as Spain and Portugal.
The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar.
Blatter’s tweet comes one day after a bipartisan group of 43 U.S. senators wrote a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to pursue an American joint bid for the 2026 tournament with Mexico and Canada. The move is surprising, particularly because of Trump’s multiple and strong criticisms of NAFTA — an organization the three nations are a part of — and especially of Mexico, whom he claims he will force to reimburse the U.S. for the construction of a border wall as a way to curb immigration.
“As one of three host nations, the United States would have the opportunity to deepen the relationship between our citizens and the extended global soccer community,” the letter reads. “It would build on a successful legacy for our three nations, which together have hosted 13 FIFA-sponsored tournaments.”
A Gallup poll in 2017 found that soccer is the fourth-favorite spectator sport in the U.S.
Blatter is serving a six-year ban from soccer following the discovery of an non-contracted salary of $2 million to one-time adviser Michel Platini.
The Swiss chief has also faced an accusation of sexual harassment. In November, former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo claimed Blatter groped her at an awards ceremony in 2013.