Jordaan ‘flogging a dead horse’
CAPE TOWN — The dictionary describes the old maxim of “flogging a dead horse” as “a waste of time and energy on a lost or impossible cause”.
And, in assuring Morocco unqualified support in their bid to secure the hosting of the 2026 Fifa World Cup, Safa president Danny Jordaan might be doing something excruciatingly close to just that.
Jordaan made this promise to the Moroccan delegation that has been in South Africa this week seeking aid and assistance regarding their bid to host a revolutionary 48-team World Cup in 2026.
And little wonder the North Africans are looking for all the help they can get from the nation who staged the 2010 World Cup — considering they face awesome opposition from a joint rival bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico operating in unison.
Apart from seeking South Africa’s vote, the Moroccans are also looking for ways and means of courting worldwide support in a contest in which the United States-Canada-Mexico bloc are firm and overwhelming favourites.
Boasting a net population in the vicinity of half a billion, the three American nations have huge finances behind their bid and facilities that are, in the main, already of a multiplied nature and in place. With matches in 2026 due to increase to a hectic 80 in all, with 60 of them earmarked for the United States and 10 each for Mexico and Canada, it would seem to make some sense to have three countries hosting the innovative competition.
Morocco, nevertheless, has given the assurance it will have no financial problems regarding 2026 and believes with the World Cup in a more compact space, cutting down on travel will be an important issue. But significantly against Morocco’s bid is the fact that, while on different continents, the 2022 World Cup is due to be staged in relative close proximity in Qatar.
However, what might provide the North Africans with a glimmer of hope is the belief that the worldwide unpopularity of U.S. President Donald Trump could work in their favour.
South African officials involved in securing the 2010 World Cup will, no doubt, have some valuable tips on how the Moroccans should conduct their campaign before Fifa makes their fateful decision on 2026 during this year’s World Cup in Russia — although they are unlikely to suggest a repeat of the controversial $10 million payment that was made through the aegis of the disgraced Jack Warner for the Central American Confederation that many claimed was a veiled bribe to secure votes.
Also, Jordaan’s assessment that SA staged the best-ever World Cup in 2010 is also closer to Disneyland than reality. While the 2010 tournament was undoubtedly a success — apart for Bafana Bafana becoming the only host nation not to make it to the second round of a World Cup — to claim it as the best-ever is far-fetched, to say the least.
And as far-fetched, incidentally, as the assertion of gregarious former Senegal World Cup star, El Hadji Diouf, a member of the Moroccan delegation in SA, that diminutive Mamelodi Sundowns star, Percy Tau, is a more talented player than Liverpool’s world-acclaimed Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane!
The SA Football Association, headedby Danny Jordaan (right), may bewasting their time supportingMorocco’s World Cup bid.