President Donald Trump's tweet about North America's bid for the 2026 World Cup, which could include games played in Philadelphia, caused Federation Internationale de Football Association to point to its guidelines about not using political influence to try and secure the event.
"The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup", Trump tweeted.
The US, Canada and Mexico bid group said in a diplomatic statement: "From the beginning, we have received great support from the Canadian, Mexican and United States governments".
FIFA's Bid Rules of Conduct contain an explicit warning against activities by bidding country governments which "may adversely affect the integrity of the Bidding Process and create an undue influence on the Bidding Process".
Trump's comments come days after he tweeted that the US may stop supporting countries that lobbied against a joint North American bid for the World Cup.
Trump tweeted that it was a "shame" that countries to which America has lent its financial and strategic support in the past are now reported to be supporting a bid other than the "strong one put together" by the North American trio.
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Last week Trump issued a veiled threat against nations that may align in voting blocs against the North American bid.
"Together we support the candidacy of Mexico, Canada and U.S. as the headquarters of the World Cup 2026", the Mexican president wrote.
"We hope to be the economic partner of choice for nations across the continent and all around the world", Trump said, adding that the United States is "respected again" when it comes to trade and commercial relations.
The North American bid boasts large stadiums and excellent infrastructure but is no certainty to win the June vote.
From his remarks about the World Cup, it is not clear that Trump understands the process of how a host country is chosen. All 206 votes from member nations will be made public.
The host of the 2026 World Cup will be named June 13, a day before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. "We didn't discuss it, because the president knows me, and he knows where I'm coming from and I appreciate that".