Fez - When I read recently about multiple FIFA scandals and the possibility that Morocco could have hosted the World Cup in 2010, I was desperate, disappointed, and disillusioned. Morocco spent millions of dollars in strengthening infrastructure and creating job opportunities yearning for the organization of the World Cup in the kingdom.
Fez – When I read recently about multiple FIFA scandals and the possibility that Morocco could have hosted the World Cup in 2010, I was desperate, disappointed, and disillusioned. Morocco spent millions of dollars in strengthening infrastructure and creating job opportunities yearning for the organization of the World Cup in the kingdom.
Moreover, Moroccans wholeheartedly supported the country’s candidacy, aspiring for genuine economical transition. Unfortunately, Morocco’s dream became a mirage, presumably because of corruption in FIFA, which has since lost its credibility after the revelation of successive scandals and the resignation of Sepp Blatter. It is a shame for this colossal organization to stoop so low and involve itself in conspiracies designed to gain money and breach regulations.
In 2010, Morocco’s World Cup dream could have come true had it not been for the ruse that gave South Africa the advantage. This claim is based on a telephone conversation five years ago between the Sunday Times and Ismail Bhamjee, a former FIFA executive committee member, who confirmed during the conversation that Morocco had won the honor of organizing this flagship tournament. FIFA swept the phone conversation under the rug and refused to open an investigation on the matter at that time. South Africa won the organization ticket. Morocco smelled a rat and was dejected, but did not then figure out how the sordid scheme actually happened.
Moroccans had ambitions of organizing the event with a vision toward boosting the economy and gaining the impetus to start the march toward increased industrialization, poverty elimination, and illiteracy eradication, but our dreams were shattered.
Africans and the world are now dumbfounded because they have since discovered how much some FIFA members cherish the game and seek its popularity. At this juncture, fans have raised many questions about FIFA’s credibility and the merits of matches and tournaments since the spree of scandals. This is despicable and frustrating for spectators around the world, especially Moroccans who should be adamant about opening an investigation and sorting out responsibilities.
Recently Aley Eddine Helal, the former Egyptian minister of youth and sport, asserted that Jack Warner, FIFA’s former vice president, had asked for a seven million dollar bribe to give Egypt seven votes in 2004 to win the 2010 World Cup.
British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his will to talk about the issue in the Group of 7 meeting in Krün, Germany on June 7 and 8, and encouraged his fellow members to unite against corruption.
This is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. What lies beneath the current wave of corruption must be huge, as the ongoing investigation will certainly reveal.
Whoever is responsible for this turbulence in FIFA’s disenfranchisement of Morocco’s legitimate right to host the World Cup tournament and shatter the public trust in the organization should be severely punished, and countries that have been harmed should be compensated.
This is the only way to preserve the status of football as the most popular game in the world. Offering scapegoats without punishing the real instigators will gradually trigger enmity and violence in stadiums, especially during critical matches when referees make mistakes.
Moroccans should not keep dragging their feet on the matter. We have to hit the ground running and find a way to prove our case and be compensated for the damage that FIFA has caused Morocco. Undoubtedly, it will cost an arm and a leg to make the campaign and make our candidacy known to the world. Perhaps if we litigate our case, FIFA will be required to pay restitution for its unfairness.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers
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