The South African Football Association (Safa) has announced its ‘unqualified support’ for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
Moroccans are hoping to stage the 23rd edition of the international competition, and face competition from a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
A Fifa congress will be held in Moscow on 13 June to decide the host nation of the first 48-team World Cup.
South African support could affect what many predicted could be a split in how the African continent votes in June.
Morocco can emulate South Africa
Safa president Danny Jordan said that it will be great for Africa to host a second World Cup.
“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity and naysayers should stop using the political argument,” Jordaan said.
“Africa hosted the best FIFA World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa.”
Jordaan also assured that he will personally lobby for the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) and the rest of the continent in support of the Moroccan bid.
Moroccan fifth bid
This is the fifth time that the north African nation bids to host the World Cup, having previously campaigned to organize the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions.
#FIFAVisit2026 🏟 #StadeHarti— Morocco 2026 (@Morocco2026_EN) April 17, 2018
The @FIFAcom Task Force have arrived at the Stade Harti, in #Marrakesh | In 2026, the stunning stadium will serve as a training camp for the world’s elite players ⚽️#Morocco2026 🇲🇦 #Authenticity #TogetherForOneGoal 🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/vAEilsqyZf
Former Cameroon goalkeeper, Joseph-Antoine Bell, who is visiting South Africa as part of a delegation representing the Moroccan bid, said that the kingdom has the necessary infrastructure to host the Fifa tournament.
‘South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards; from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,’ Bell said.
‘Morocco needs South Africa's voice, it is the loudest voice on the continent.’