Washington: President Donald Trump has called on African countries to get behind the joint North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
Trump made the appeal during a Rose Garden press conference on Monday with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. The US is joining with Canada and Mexico in the bid for the quadrennial soccer tournament.
The African country Morocco is also bidding to host the 2026 event.
"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," Trump said.
He added that the US "will be watching very closely," and said the US "would appreciate" any help in securing the bid.
Trump's comments came in the context of highlighting American assistance to Nigeria and follow a veiled threat to withhold U.S. Support from countries opposing the North American effort.
"It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. Bid," Trump tweeted Thursday. "Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?"