FIFA Issues Integrity Warning for 2026 World Cup Vote

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FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, right, with FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino. Ms. Samoura sent a letter to the organization’s member federations warning them to avoid financial inducements ahead of the June vote on the host for the 2026 World Cup. Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

LONDON — Fearful of a new round of misconduct, FIFA’s top administrator has warned the organization’s 211 member federations against accepting any inducements from World Cup bid committees ahead of the vote this summer to pick the site of the 2026 event.

FIFA delivered the warning in a letter sent Friday from its secretary general, Fatma Samoura. The six-page document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, appears to take aim at Morocco, which is challenging a joint North American bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico and has offered to cover significant costs usually borne by national soccer federations.

Ms. Samoura’s letter warns voters not to accept any technical or development support “which may unduly affect the integrity of the bidding procedure.”

FIFA did not respond to questions about the content of its letter beyond providing a link to bidding guidelines and another to an earlier letter sent to member federations regarding bidding rules.

This month, The Times reported that Moroccan officials had discussed formalizing a relationship between Morocco and the Confederation African Football in which national teams from across the continent would come to Morocco for training camps and other soccer development activities. Officials from the African confederation had not decided to accept the proposal, and it is not clear if Morocco plans to go ahead with the offer.

Source: The New York Times