2026 World Cup : After Algeria, South Africa backs the Moroccan bid

Unlike expectations, South Africa has announced that it is backing Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The country believes that its support would make all the difference on the continent.

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South Africa backs Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup./Ph. DR

It is truly happening. The South African soccer federation (SAFA) has announced on Monday, 16th of April, that it is backing Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup, reports Associated Press.

Although diplomatic relations between the two African countries, namely South Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco, have slipped into a gradual process of deterioration throughout the years, Pretoria promised Morocco «unqualified support» in its bid to organize the international tournament.

Danny Jordaan, president of the South African federation stated that «he will personally lobby» African officials before the vote which will be hosted on the 13th of June in Moscow.

«It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best FIFA World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,» said the SAFA President before a Moroccan delegation comprised of ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker, El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper, Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Helping Morocco host the 2026 World Cup

And unlike expectations, Jordaan promised that his country will do what it needs to see the Moroccan bid winning this race. Moreover, he insisted that South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent.

«When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco», said goalkeeper Antoine Bell, adding that «South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid».

This is the fifth time that Morocco bids for hosting the World Cup after four unsuccessful attempts in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010. In 2010, in particular, the Kingdom was competing against South Africa which managed to stage Africa’s first World Cup.

For the record, the South African bid is investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for an alleged $10 million bribe to FIFA voters in the North American region, said the same source.

For the time being, Morocco has successfully attracted a number of supporting nations. Several federations in Africa, Europe, Asia and from the CONCACAF have announced their backing for the Moroccan bid.

Article modified on : 16.04.2018 18h09