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Trump says he 'worked hard' on World Cup bid, thanks Kraft
WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump said he worked hard on the effort to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America and thanked Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL's New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution.
Trump signed letters to FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressing confidence that World Cup delegations and fans would be welcomed for the tournament. Although of no legal force, the letters were used in lobbying by the U.S. Soccer Federation as the North American bid competed against Morocco's. The North American bid won 134-65 in voting by FIFA members in Moscow on Wednesday.
"Thank you for all of the compliments on getting the World Cup to come to the U.S.A., Mexico and Canada," Trump tweeted Friday. "I worked hard on this, along with a Great Team of talented people. We never fail, and it will be a great World Cup! A special thanks to Bob Kraft for excellent advice."
Kraft became honorary chairman of the bid last July. He worked to obtain U.S. government support and helped gain support of federations.
In a mid-April tweet, Trump threatened to withhold support from nations that failed to back the North American bid.
"Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?" he tweeted.
In a May letter to FIFA, the Trump administration wrote "all eligible athletes, officials and fans from all countries around the world would be able to enter the United States without discrimination."
The U.S. previously hosted the World Cup in 1994.
More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
Updated June 15, 2018