Jor­daan ‘flog­ging a dead horse’

The Witness - - SPORT - SY LERMAN

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!

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES

The­ SA­ Foot­ball­ As­so­ci­a­tion,­ head­edby­ Danny­ Jor­daan­ (right),­ may­ be­wast­ing­ their­ time­ sup­port­ingMorocco’s­ World­ Cup­ bid.

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