Melbourne City FC
Western Sydney Wanderers
Game Details
Northern Ireland
South Korea
2:00 PM UTC
Game Details
New Zealand
3:00 PM UTC
Game Details
5:00 PM UTC
Game Details
New England Revolution
New York City FC
5:30 PM UTC
Game Details
FC Dallas
Portland Timbers
7:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Columbus Crew SC
DC United
10:00 PM UTC
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Minnesota United FC
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Colorado Rapids
Sporting Kansas City
1:00 AM UTC Mar 25, 2018
Game Details
Vancouver Whitecaps
LA Galaxy
2:00 AM UTC Mar 25, 2018
Game Details

FIFA lifts ban on public endorsements of 2026 World Cup bids

LONDON -- A ban on voters publicly endorsing any 2026 World Cup bid has been lifted by FIFA in the face of criticism from football officials.

The governing body last month ordered officials not to openly discuss the merits of either the joint Northern American bid, featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico, or the rival bid from Morocco.

It led to Confederation of African Football President Ahmad to express frustration at being restricted from backing his continent's bid.

But FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura informed members this week of an about-turn in a letter to member associations offering new guidance on the bid rules of conduct.

"All public statements by football officials in support of one bidder are admissible provided that they meet the underlying principles of ethical behavior," Samoura said in the letter. "They shall be limited to genuine support for the preferred bidder and contain no statements against the competitive bidder or requests for bloc voting.

"Officials shall consider whether, from a common sense perspective, the nature and form of a statement can be considered as `fair' and `not unduly influencing the bidding process.'"

Samoura acknowledged that the previous rules were "questioned by members of the football community." The entire FIFA Congress, which features 211 soccer nations, is due to vote on June 13 on the 2026 host.

Samoura told member nations that they cannot invite a single bid to present to them at any meeting, including regional confederation congresses, ahead of the vote in Moscow to ensure the "principles of fairness and transparency are respected."

"Please also accept the offer of a presentation by the competitive bidder, offering both bidders the same format and attendance," Samoura wrote.

The World Cup will expand from 32 to 48 teams in 2026. It is FIFA's first men's World Cup vote since the widely discredited dual contest in 2010 for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.