U.S. territories won’t vote for 2026 World Cup hosts – sources

Football



The soccer federations for the USA territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands won’t vote on Wednesday when FIFA members determine the hosts of the 2026 World Cup, sources confirmed to ESPN FC.

The territories’ resolution, first reported by The Guardian, comes after repeated urging from the Morocco bid and will doubtlessly take 4 votes away from the North American “United bid” of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The Moroccan Soccer Federation had written to FIFA a number of occasions in Could to lift issues over the potential battle of curiosity of the 4 territories taking part within the vote, sources stated.

FIFA has beforehand urged federations to declare a attainable battle of curiosity forward of the vote, however not one of the 4 American-governed territories has completed so. Not one of the U.S., Canada, Mexico or Morocco might be allowed to vote both.

Additionally on Tuesday, the Dutch Soccer Federation (KNVB) got here out in help for the Morocco bid, citing a “moral obligation,” however Germany grew to become the primary European nation to again the United bid.

“We want to do something for all the good things Africa and Morocco have brought to Dutch football in recent years,” KNVB president Michael van Praag stated. 

Morocco’s group at this 12 months’s World Cup in Russia options 5 Netherlands-born gamers — Moubarak Boussoufa, Karim El Ahmadi, Hakim Ziyech, and the Amrabat brothers Nordin and Sofyan.

With votes set to be made public for the primary time, the Dutch be part of a variety of different European international locations who’ve introduced help for Morocco, together with France, Serbia, Russia, Belgium and Luxembourg — with solely Germany so far backing the U.S.

French federation chief Noel Le Graet, talking in help of the African bid on Tuesday, stated he expects about half of Europe’s 55 votes to go to Morocco.

In Africa, at the very least 13 of the 54 international locations have pledged help for Morocco, whereas Liberia, Namibia and Zimbabwe help the United bid.

Conversely, at the very least 11 federations from CONCACAF’s 35 help the U.S.-led bid, although 4 Carribbean members could help Morocco.

South America confederation CONMEBOL has stated its 10 groups will all vote for the North American bid.

Amongst Asia’s 46 voters, Lebanon, Myanmar, Palestine and Qatar are anticipated to again Morocco, with Afghanistan, Australia and Saudi Arabia backing the U.S.

ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden contributed to this report.

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