By Karen Duarte
By Karen Duarte
Rabat – Although Morocco counted on the strong support of its neighboring African countries, eleven refused to vote for Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup.
South Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Benin, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Cape Verde, and Zimbabwe were the eleven African countries who paved the way for the joint United States-Canada-Mexico bid to win.
The United 2026 bid was selected today by FIFA federations at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.
There were 65 votes (33%) for Morocco’s bid. The United (North American) bid received 134 votes (67%), and Iran was the only country that voted for “none of the bids.”
With its fifth attempt to host, Morocco was hoping to be the second African country to host this far-reaching tournament. The 2026 tournament will be the biggest World Cup ever with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days.
Both Mexico (1970 and 1986) and the United States (1994) have previously hosted World Cups. Canada staged the Women’s World Cup in 2015.
Perhaps US President Donald Trump’s tweet in April stating, “It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against against the U.S bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us,” had a major effect on the eleven African countries that refused to vote for Morocco’s bid.
Now, in future football events the eleven countries who voted against Morocco’s bid will be unlikely to receive the support of the rest of Africa if they tried to host.
Despite its fifth failure, Morocco has vowed to continue its campaign to host the World Cup.
Following the poll results, Fouzi Lekjaa, head of the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF), emphasized “the determination of my country to continue to work for football…and to realize our dream some day of hosting the World Cup”.