World Cup 2026 bid: Ahmad disagrees as Fifa boss preaches Caf neutrality

Fifa’s President, Gianni Infantino has urged the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to remain neutral in the selection process for the 2026 World Cup host.

“I ask you to do everything possible to make the process as healthy as possible. It is about our credibility,” Infantino said when he arrived at the 40th Ordinary General Assembly of Caf on Friday.

Infantino’s remarks, however, did not please Caf’s President Ahmad Ahmad. In response to Infantino’s call, Ahmad said, “We live in an era of democracy. You are free making your decision.”

The Caf president, who has been expressing his full support for Morocco’s bid, added: “I have my position, the executive committee supports me in my position, but it is up to you to decide.”

“I am not allowed to vote on June 13, so I am free to express my position,” added Ahmad, who was quoted by Moroccan news outlet Le360.

In December 2017, Infantino expressed his support for the North American bid, saying that, “Joint biddings are certainly positive.” Fifa’s president also said at a conference in Dubai, “Let me say one more thing, to have Canada, U.S. and Mexico coming together for a joint project, already this is a positive message,” reported American news outlet New York Times.

In January, the Caf President expressed his satisfaction over the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, which is currently being held in Morocco. He believes that the smooth proceedings of the tournament are proof that Morocco is capable of organizing the World Cup.

Ahmad is not the only Caf official who has supported Morocco’s bid. Caf’s first vice president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, said that Morocco has honored Africa throughout the month-long Chan.

According to Nyantakyi, the success of 2018 Chan is a proof that Morocco can organize major football events, referring to the 2026 World Cup. Morocco’s effort to secure the World Cup is, he added, “the project of an entire continent.”

Around 221 national soccer federations from around the world will meet in Moscow to decide in June between Morocco and the USA/Canada/Mexico joint bid as to who will host the 23rd Fifa World Cup. The candidates’ files should meet Fifa’s technical terms, including infrastructure and commercial criteria.

The two candidates will have to submit their complete candidacy proposals and required documents to Fifa by March 16.



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