South Africa backs Morocco for 2026 World Cup host

Kingston Whig-Standard - - SPORTS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — South African soc­cer leader Danny Jor­daan has promised Morocco “un­qual­i­fied sup­port” to host the 2026 World Cup in a con­test against a com­bined North Amer­i­can bid.

The South African fed­er­a­tion said Mon­day that Jor­daan as­sured a vis­it­ing Morocco bid del­e­ga­tion “he will per­son­ally lobby” African of­fi­cials ahead of the sched­uled vote in Moscow on June 13.

Morocco is up against a U.S.Canada-Mex­ico bid to stage the con­ti­nent’s sec­ond World Cup. South Africa hosted in 2010, af­ter beat­ing Morocco and Egypt in a vote.

That South African bid is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice for a sus­pi­cious $10 mil­lion pay­ment to FIFA vot­ers in the North Amer­i­can re­gion. In in­dict­ments pub­lished by the jus­tice depart­ment in 2015, two of the listed “co-con­spir­a­tors” are South African soc­cer of­fi­cials who are not iden­ti­fied.

Now, Morocco is com­pet­ing against the Amer­i­cans to co-host the 48-team tour­na­ment. Up to 207 FIFA mem­ber fed­er­a­tions will vote at their congress on the eve of the World Cup in Rus­sia.

North Amer­i­can bid lead­ers tar­geted the 14-mem­ber south­ern African soc­cer body COSAFA at a Fe­bru­ary meet­ing in Jo­han­nes­burg.

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