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Soccer: Trump makes appeal for 2026 World Cup in North America

President Donald Trump and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari walk from the Oval Office for a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on April 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Monday 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 Monday with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. The U.S. 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 U.S. "will be watching very closely," and said the U.S "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)?"

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