May 16 – South Africa’s football leadership are being urged not to break ranks with the Continent and to back Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
In a rare but open disagreement South Africa’s sports minister Tokozile Xasa recently over-ruled SAFA chiefs by stating the country would support the North American bid at next month’s ballot. South Africa and Morocco have had strained relations ever since Morocco withdrew its ambassador from Pretoria in 2004 when South Africa recognised the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic‚ also known as the Western Sahara.
With South Africa holding huge influence in the region, its voting bloc is crucial and Confederation of African Football president Ahmad Ahmad is hoping to persuade SAFA representatives to back Morocco at a meeting in Johannesburg today. SAFA president Danny Jordaan, who was quoted as favouring Morocco before the government intervened, has since sought to distance himself.
Instead SAFA announced that their executive committee will make a final decision later this month.
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