FIFA maintains that aside from the bidders, there will be no eligible national association excluded from casting a vote in the upcoming election to select the 2026 World Cup host. Morocco recently raised questions about whether U.S. territories should be allowed to participate in the voting on June 13 in Moscow.
The North African country is competing against a U.S.-led North American joint bid for the right to organize the 2026 football tournament and it has questioned whether four American territories - American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - would be conflicted in the vote.
The four are considered separate football nations by FIFA so each has a vote. According to the FIFA regulations it is up to the delegates of such territories to declare if they feel conflicted in the vote.
"FIFA's member associations are entitled to participate and vote in the FIFA Congress," FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press.
"Regarding potential conflicts of interest in the context of the voting procedure for the election of the host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup ... at the time of writing, no member association has notified FIFA about its intention not to perform their duties in connection with the bidding procedure."
A spokesman for the North American bid has told the Guardian newspaper: “This is not who’s under the reach of the Queen (of England) or who’s a former French colonial authority. This is who has a soccer federation. The Faroe Islands has a soccer federation, Iran has a soccer federation and that’s what this is about, a soccer tournament. This is not the United Nations.”
Morocco contends that its reservation refers to countries directly connected to bidding candidates, not others whose territories might have historic allegiances.
At the June 13 vote in the Russian capital, the only otherwise eligible countries prohibited from voting will be the four nations bidding for the 2026 event: Morocco, United States, Canada and Mexico. Guatemala is currently suspended by FIFA and will not be allowed to cast a ballot.