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    Qatar and Seychelles Rebuild Morocco 2026’s Hopes

    10 Jun 2018

    The last days, if anything, have been unpleasantly shocking for Morocco 2026: Namibia and Liberia joined South Africa as the only African countries that have officially chosen to support the North American bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 instead of Morocco.

    The recent moves have reduced the African momentum that has strengthened the North African bid in the past months, while Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan shattered Morocco’s certainty that the Trump administration’s anti-Muslim agenda would prompt the Muslim world to overwhelmingly endorse Morocco 2026.

    But if losing the support of some African and Middle Eastern countries has dealt a severe blow to Morocco’s hopes of hosting the World Cup in 2026, Morocco 2026’s dimming light has been rekindled by some good news from the Gulf and Africa, Moroccan outlet Al Massae reported earlier today.

    The source wrote that Qatar’s ambassador to Rabat, Abdallah Velah Edousri, has announced his country’s total support for Morocco’s bid. But in addition to the assurance that Qatar’s vote will go to Morocco, the Gulf country “also plans to use all its might to lobby for Morocco’s bid,” Al Massae noted.

    If this sounds familiar, it is: since Morocco joined—rather unexpectedly—the FIFA 2026 contest in August of last year, Qatar has been unapologetically forthcoming about its unremitting support for “fellow Muslim brothers.”

    Despite Trump’s recent tweet threatening to withdraw American aid from countries who will not vote for United 2026 (the North American bid) Ambassador Edousri is inflexible about his country’s position on Wednesday’s vote.

    Edousri hinted, without naming names, that Muslim countries should support Morocco.

    As for the breath of fresh air from Africa, it was delivered to Morocco 2026 by Seychelles. The island country, which is a member of the COSAFA (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations), has chosen to smash South Africa’s alleged agenda of persuading the COSAFA bloc to endorse the North American trio at the expense of Morocco’s bid.

    In a public statement, the president of the Seychelles Football Federation, George Pepel, declared his country’s full support for Morocco 2026. Pepel said that the executive board of the federation has unanimously decided to vote for the continent’s representative on June 13.

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