CONCACAF chief re­sponds to Trump ‘shit­hole’ slur

Manila Times - - FOOTBALL - MI­AMI: FIFA President Gianni In­fantino ( left) and CONCACAF President Vic­tor Mon­tagliani be­fore the fi­nal foot­ball game of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Ja­maica at the Levi’s Sta­dium in Santa Clara, Cal­i­for­nia. AFP

The head of CONCACAF re­sponded to Don­ald Trump’s “shit­hole” slur on Fri­day ( Satur­day in Manila), em­pha­siz­ing the re­gion’s em­brace of di­ver­sity as it en­ters a key phase in its bid for the 2026 World Cup.

Vic­tor Mon­tagliani, the president of the con­fed­er­a­tion for foot­ball in North Amer­ica, Cen­tral Amer­ica and the Caribbean ( CONCACAF), took to Twit­ter to ad­dress Trump’s re­marks, which have been branded as racist at home and abroad.

“In the foot­balling com­mu­nity we un­der­stand that di­ver­sity of experience and back­ground pro­vides strength to the team,” Mon­tagliani wrote on Twit­ter above a link to a news story about the Trump com­ments.

“The @ CONCACAF fam­ily stands along­side those in and from Haiti, El Sal­vador and around the world, in re­mind­ing that all are wel­come on the field. # UNITY,” Mon­tagliani added.

Trump ig­nited a storm of con­tro­versy on Thurs­day af­ter de­nounc­ing im­mi­gra­tion to the United States from “shit­hole coun­tries” dur­ing a meet­ing with law­mak­ers.

The com­ment was widely con­demned as racist, al­though Trump later de­nied say­ing “any­thing deroga­tory” about the peo­ple of Haiti.

The con­tro­versy flared just two months be­fore the United States, Canada and Mex­ico must for­mally sub­mit their joint bid to stage the 2026 World Cup to world gov­ern­ing body FIFA on March 16.

The CONCACAF re­gion’s bid has long been seen as the clear fron­trun­ner in the race for the tour­na­ment, which has so far seen only one other coun­try — Morocco — con­firm plans to bid for the event.

The 37- mem­ber FIFA Coun­cil will de­cide in June whether one or both of the two bids will ad­vance to a fi­nal vote at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13.

If nei­ther bid is ul­ti­mately suc­cess­ful, other regions could en­ter the run­ning in a re­vised bid process, which would ex­clude the ini­tial bid­ders — pos­si­bly paving the way for a bid from Europe or Asia.

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