By Lulu Brenda Harris
MOROCCO has relauched its bid to host the 2026 Football World. This will be a fifth attempt for the North African country that wants to bring the football world cup back into Africa for the second time.
In 2010, South Africa successfully hosted the Football World Cup bringing much euphoria and excitement in Africa, with its “Feel it, it’s here” mantra.
Morocco is competing against a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States, of which these are the only two bids that have been submitted to FIFA.
If FIFA is unhappy with the two bids in place, it could choose to reopen the bidding process and extend it until 2020 but this is a decision that officials will make when they meet in June.
The vote to determine a possible winner and such processes would be held in Moscow at the FIFA Congress on June 13, 2018.
For its preparation, Morocco has already submitted a 193-page document to FIFA stating why it would present the best showcase for football.
Moroccan representative in South Africa, Charge D’affairs, Naji Abdelkader, said the country was geared in hosting the World Cup and was prepared to honour all the FIFA stipulations.
“As a reminder, Morocco presented on March 17, 2018 in Casablanca the outline of its “Bid book”, its application for the organisation of the World Cup football in 2026.The country is prepared to show FIFA that it will provide a wonderful football tourney for both the fans and football teams,” he stated.
Abdelkader was pleased to announce that so far the North African country has received unanimous support from member states of the Arab League and other African countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Ghana, while France, Russia and Iraq have also expressed their support.
“The Arab League unanimously, on its 29th Arab summit, held in the Saudi city of Dhahran, adopted the decision supporting Morocco’s candidacy for the 2026 Football World Cup.
The Arab offered their “Full support and unfailing support for this application” during the summit,” said the Moroccan representative.
Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa was quoted saying Kenya was firmly behind Morocco’s bid for the 2026 World Cup, “since the whole of Africa is for Morocco. We have worked closely with the Moroccan Football Federation since we came into office in 2016,” he said.
South African Football Association (SAFA) president, Danny Jordaan, promised South Africa would give unwavering support to help Morocco secure the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“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.
Already a five man FIFA task force is in Morocco for an inspection visit to assess the country’s ability to host the tournament.
The task force would visit several cities between April 17 to 19, 2018 as well as stadiums, training camps and fan fest sites, together with other venues that are linked to the organisation of the competition.
Reports say the task force will use a point-scoring system to evaluate the two host candidates and a bid that fails to meet a minimum score on a number of different points would be disqualified before the final vote in Russia.
Morocco made unsuccessful bids to host the Football World Cup tournaments in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.
In 1994, it came second to the United States, behind France for 1998 and in 2010 lost out to South Africa.
The 2026 Football World Cup finals would be the first tournament to feature 48 teams.