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FIFA refers to ethics rules after Trump tweets on US World Cup bid

FIFA refers to ethics rules after Trump tweets on US World Cup bid
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FIFA pointed to its guidelines on Friday prohibiting political influence in the bidding process to host the World Cup after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE suggested on Twitter that the U.S. may cease to support countries that lobbied against a joint North American bid.

"As a general rule, we cannot comment on specific statements in connection with the bidding process," FIFA, the international soccer governing body, said in a statement to Reuters.

"We can only refer to the FIFA Regulations for the selection of the venue for the final competition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and in particular to the Bid Rules of Conduct incorporated therein."

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The Bid Rules of Conduct prohibit governments from activities that "may adversely affect the integrity of the Bidding Process and create an undue influence on the Bidding Process."

FIFA has its own history of scandal. It is facing criminal investigations into the bidding process and allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments in Russia and Qatar, respectively.

The statement from FIFA came after Trump tweeted in support of a joint bid between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup, and appeared to lob a veiled threat at countries that lobbied against the North American bid.

"The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup," Trump tweeted. "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?"

The U.S. last hosted the World Cup, professional soccer's largest tournament, in 1994.

--Updated at 4:38 p.m.