March 1, 2018 7:00 am

Rick Zamperin: North America’s bid for the 2026 World Cup on thin ice?

The joint World Cup bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico is said to be in tough against Morocco.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jon Blacker
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Sit down Sepp Blatter.

Frankly, your opinion no longer matters.

The disgraced former president of FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, tweeted last week that Morocco should be given the right to host the World Cup in 2026 instead of a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The World Cup hasn’t been co-hosted by two nations since South Korea and Japan teamed up for the 2002 tournament.

ESPN, citing multiple high-ranking football executives within FIFA, reports Morocco has a legitimate chance to upset the joint North American bid.

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One FIFA official believes Morocco has the support of Africa and much of Asia and South America, which would give the African country enough votes when the ballots are cast just days before the opening match of this year’s World Cup in Russia.  The winner will be announced June 13.

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You’ll recall the FIFA presidency was ripped away from Blatter in 2015 after dozens of soccer officials were charged with corruption, including World Cup vote buying.

So, to me at least, I could care less what Blatter tweets.

But losing the 2026 World Cup bid to Morocco would be a devastating blow to North America, which last hosted soccer’s pinnacle event in 1994 when it was in the U.S.

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Africa last hosted in 2010 when South Africa and the vuvuzelas were showcased to the world.

If FIFA members were smart, and we can debate that another time, they would see that there is still an enormous untapped market of soccer fans and future players in this country and America.

To me, the choice is clear.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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