Rabat- Responding to a series of tweets by the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority Turki Al-Sheikh, member of the Qatari royal family Maryam Al-Thani reaffirmed Qatar’s support of Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid.
Recently, Al-Sheikh, who is also the advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been posting controversial tweets about his country’s position on the ongoing 2026 World Cup race between Morocco and the three-nation North American bid.
Morocco’s neutrality in the Gulf crisis between the Saudi Arabia coalition and Qatar incensed the Saudi official.
Morocco has been offering to mediate a solution between the Gulf countries, reaffirming its neutrality to avoid escalation between the countries. However, the Saudi official refuses to accept Morocco’s stance and has been tweeting provocative posts regarding Morocco’s World Cup Bid.
In a recent tweet, Al-Sheikh wrote, “Some people went astray. If you want support, you should seek it in Riyadh. What you are doing is wasting your time. Now ask the pseudo-state to help you,” referring to Qatar.
In response to Al-Sheikh’s tweets, Al-Thani wrote in a Facebook comment that Qatar will support Morocco, adding that Turki Al-Sheikh is not a prince, but rather, “he is close to the leader more than other princes.”
Maryam Al-Thani, who is the half-sister of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, added that Al-Sheikh’s comment demonstrates that Saudi Arabia’s policy is based on “extortion: meaning help us block Qatar and we will support you.”
In a recent tweet Al-Sheikh wrote that none of the bidders who submitted their files to host the 2026 World Cup requested Saudi Arabia’s support, but, “If someone ever asks, we will look for Saudi Arabia’s interests first,” implying that his country might support the United bid.
In response to his remarks, Maryam said that her country will support Morocco’s bid unconditionally.
Last November, Qatar officially expressed its intention to support Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of Qatar, said that“[Qatar] will support Morocco’s bid and will extend any support if needed.”
Morocco submitted its bid book to FIFA on Thursday, March 15. After the submission, the bid committee said that the country will present a “record with undeniable qualities and proposes to organize a successful, responsible, and profitable World Cup with an important legacy for the country, the continent,” and for the world.
The country’s bid has already received support from Qatar and several African nations, including Botswana, Algeria, Tunisia, and Nigeria. The country is determined to clinch more international votes to win the right to host the massive tournament.