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Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter backs Morocco’s 2026 World Cup hosting bid

Morocco will go up against the joint CONCACAF bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and Sepp Blatter said that the African nation should be given the chance.

football Updated: Feb 22, 2018 18:28 IST
Omnisport
FIFA ,2026 FIFA World Cup,Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter said that Morocco is the ‘natural choice’ to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.(REUTERS)

Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called for Morocco to be awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup.

Morocco will go up against the joint CONCACAF bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico, with the 68th FIFA Congress on June 13 to decide on whether it will select one of the official bids.

The north African nation have fallen short in attempts to secure the showpiece in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

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Blatter recently ended a lengthy Twitter silence, having been ejected from office in October 2015 after evidence of a €1.3million “disloyal payment” to similarly removed ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini.

The 81-year-old is still serving a six-year ban from all football activities, but posted on social media to throw his weight behind Morocco’s pitch.

Blatter tweeted: “World Cup 2026: Co-Hosting rejected by FIFA after 2002 [Japan and South Korea co-hosted in that year].

“[Morocco] also applied in 2010 and 2018. And now: Morocco would be the logical host! And it is time for Africa again!”

Blatter’s support for Morocco is arguably unlikely given an official from their 2010 bid accused the Swiss administrator of deciding that contest in South Africa’s favour.

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Said Nejjar of the Morocco 2010 organising committee said: “Blatter used all his weight to influence the outcome of the vote.”

In 2015, as the corruption scandal that would ultimately seal Blatter’s fate began to engulf world football’s governing body, the Sunday Times published a report based on secret recordings that allegedly featured then FIFA executive committee member Ismail Bhamjee claiming the 2004 vote had been won by Morocco before being “deliberately miscounted” in South Africa’s favour.

Blatter has denied allegations of impropriety around the bidding process for the 2010 World Cup. Bhamjee resigned from his position with FIFA in the wake of the 2006 World Cup ticketing scandal.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 18:28 IST