Rabat – The 29th Arab Summit has buoyed Morocco’s chances of hosting the world’s premier tournament. On Sunday, prominent Arab leaders confirmed their unanimous support for Morocco’s 2026 bid.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita told the press after the Arab Summit attended by Prince Moulay Rachid that “the summit has unanimously affirmed its support” for the Moroccan bid and called upon all states to provide full support for Morocco.
The 29th Arab Summit took place on Sunday in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Prince Moulay Rachid represented King Mohammed VI at the summit, which convened head of states and governments, representatives of Arab nations, and officials of various international and original organizations.
The decision of the Arab summit to support Morocco’s bid came a few weeks after Saudi Arabia’s decision to lend its support for the three-nations North American bid (USA/Canada/Mexico).
On April 3, the chairman of the Saudi general Sports Authority (GSA) Turki Al Sheikh met with Carlos Cordeiro, President of the United States Soccer Federation, to express Saudi Arabia’s country’s endorsement of the joint American bid.
“I was pleased to meet Mr. Carlos Cordeiro, the president of the United States Soccer Federation, and chairman of the United 2026,” the Saudi official said on Twitter shortly after his meeting with the chairman of the North American joint bid.
Al Sheikh’s meeting with the president of the US Soccer Federation followed a series of tweets, in which he emphasized that Saudi Arabia will vote for the bid that will serve its interests.
“Friendship and fraternity have been very detrimental to the Saudis…what really matters to me is that the 2026 World Cup needs to be hosted in the best conditions,” the Saudi said in mid-March, tacitly suggesting that United ‘26 was the Saudi federation’s choice.
Al Sheikh has also politicized Saudi Arabia’s decision, criticizing Morocco’s neutrality the Gulf crisis between the Saudi Arabia coalition and Qatar.
In a mid-March 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.
However, Morocco has been offering to mediate a solution between the Gulf countries, reaffirming its neutrality to avoid escalation.