The just concluded FIFA’S 2019 three days summit in Marrakesh had Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA saying that he favors Porto, Rabat and Madrid to organize the 2030 FIFA World Cup collectively.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar has not started yet, however, a motion of moves and counter moves have already set in. Morocco who has been a perennial bidder and currently bidding to co-host the 2026 FIFA world Cup has had its hopes of hosting the tournament dashed once again. As usual, FIFA in its wonderful wisdom have awarded the hosting rights to the threesome Mexico-United states-Canada. Morocco has bidden to host the competition for upwards of five times since 1994 to date. But S. Africa, Germany, USA among others has beaten Morocco at each bid. The numerous disappointments however, are not sufficient to deter the determined North African football giant from bidding for the hosting rights since it started on that journey some 25 years ago.
This is the second blow in a row for the North African Football giants. It will be remembered that not too long ago, the African football governing body, CAF disappointed Morocco when its body language suggests that it was not willing to award the hosting rights to Morocco. Morocco had officially bidden to host the tournament when CAF had already withdraw the hosting rights from Cameroon, citing delay in infrastructural construction and upgrade. Eventually, CAF handed the hosting rights for the 2019 CAN tournament to a fellow North African Football giant, Egypt.
All hope is not lost for the Moroccans, as FIFA’S C in C appears to be hinting that the 2030 FIFA world cup may be awarded to Portugal, Morocco and Spain. This decision may not be unconnected with the rumors of the phone call between the King of Spain and that of Morocco Mohammed VI, which borders on joint candidacy to host the 2026 FIFIA World Cup. Only that Infantino was said to have objected, reason being that, he was not in favor of having “two different football confederations” hosting a World Cup. Infantino’s reasons may be tenable on that grounds; however, the real reason according to another group is that Infantino had already promised the almighty USA the hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It was pretty clear that Infantino favors the United States of America for the simple fact that America had strongly supported his election bid in 2016. The favor, is apparently being ‘paid back in full’ so to speak.
Sadly, it is still fresh in our minds when Donald Trump threatened countries that will not support or vote for the American file, seeking the right to host the tournament alongside its neighbors Mexico and Canada.
“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid,” Trump wrote in the tweet. “Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)? Donald Trump.
The surprising thing here is that, Infantino who was against two different Football Identities co-hosting a FIFA World Cup tournament has made a complete turnaround to support it with the same breath, a triplicate candidature of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It is pretty confusing if not disappointing if words do not appear to be sufficiently binding when already uttered by certain world public figures.
This proposal is putting the sincerity of the president of World’s football Governing body to question. To show complete opposition for the proposal put forward by Morocco and Co for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and then suddenly show enthusiasm for the same proposal after two years, calls for doubt as to the motive behind the decisions.
Of course it will be naive for me or anyone else for that matter, not to admit that every decision taken at that level has a great deal of political undertone. At that echelon of office responsibility, almost everything is political. The question is, why is Infantino hinting a merger that was hitherto regarded as unholy? Is he trying to seduce the African continent with the suggestion?
We all know that FIFA will be conducting it presidential elections mid this year, so it will not be out of place if one tries to make the connection between the two. Although the question of the 2030 World Cup will not be decided before that date, the President of FIFA knows that the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with 54 members, is the second largest contributor of votes after Europe who has 55 members.
If FIFA’S president shows open support for Morocco and co, no doubt he may garner good votes from the African and European continents. However, there is still a major huddle to cross; this is so because Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay may throw in their bids of three for the 2030 FIFA world cup. No one in his right mind will disregard the power of the three South American countries in football politics. Therefore Infantino will have to trade with care by finding a way out of this political quagmire should the trio south American countries show strong interest at the end of the day.
Well, the president of the most powerful country in the world who is purported to be policing the world at the moment, have given credence to that when he menacingly threatened and chased away other interested candidates for the 2026 FIFA world cup and got what he wanted. Ordinarily, an independent body as powerful as FIFA shouldn’t be fazed by extraneous threats, but such is life, who it was that, said “desperate situations calls for desperate measures”. Apparently our dear FIFA President has delivered on his part of the bargain.
It is left for the king of Spain and that of Morocco to find other byways to conjure up support from other sister confederations alongside the president of FIFA now that it matters most. Infantino may be desperate to get re-elected for the second time this June 2019, and desperation may be played upon by the interested countries bidding for the 2030. What will follow suite at the end of the day, is left to be seen in the coming months.
ALL IMAGES ARE SOURCED FROM PINTEREST.