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Questions raised after Caribbean governments back Morocco 2026

Questions raised after Caribbean governments back Morocco 2026

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By: SportBusiness International team

Posted:
6 Apr 2018
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Morocco 2026 has courted controversy after a second government of a Caribbean nation declared its support for the North African country’s bid for the Fifa World Cup.

The government of the Caribbean island of Dominica has now apparently sided with Morocco 2026, despite strict rules from world football’s governing forbidding political interference in national associations and voting agreements linked to pledges for development projects.

The Associated Press news agency, citing a Moroccan government announcement on the bid endorsement, said Dominica hopes to expand intergovernmental ties with Morocco, including in agriculture and student scholarships. “On behalf of Dominica, I am pleased to announce the support of my country for Morocco in the organisation of the 2026 World Cup,” Foreign Minister Francine Baron said after meeting with a Moroccan diplomat.

A similar declaration was made last week by St. Lucia's Minister of Development and Sports, Edumnd Estephane, following a meeting with Morocco’s ambassador to the country, Abderrahim Kadmiri.

United 2026, the rival to Morocco 2026 comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico, is said to be relying on support from Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) member associations to aid its bid.

However, interim president of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), Randolph Harris, has stated that the recent statements from the Dominican and St. Lucian governments will not necessarily influence how the nations’ football associations will vote.

“As far as I understand it, these statements from St. Lucia and Dominica were made by the governments of these countries,” Harris told the ESPN FC website. “Governments don't really vote in the Fifa Congress. I have not heard any confirmation from the FAs of either Dominica or St. Lucia indicating that they have endorsed these statements that were made publicly about their support for Morocco.

“As it stands, we in the Caribbean Football Union will get together and discuss the whole issue of both bids. We will come to a decision. As the leader of the CFU, our confederation has offered a bid for the World Cup in 2026 and I would think that as members of Concacaf, our confederation, that we will be more apt to support Concacaf.”

In recent weeks, Fifa has been forced to answer criticism of the bidding process from Morocco 2026. Fifa this week insisted that its bidding procedure for the 2026 World Cup has been designed to avoid costly ‘white elephants’ in host countries after Morocco questioned the process. Late last month, Fifa was forced to reiterate president Gianni Infantino’s impartiality in the bidding process following unconfirmed reports that he favours the North American joint bid.

Harris added: “As far as I understand the situation, Morocco is very aggressive with their canvassing. I think they are working on the theory that with their assistance to the Caribbean at a governmental level, that it can be translated to the national football federations. At this moment I would think that is not the case. I have spoken to Dominica and St. Lucia and their leaders of football have not made any statement that they would support Morocco or not.”

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