JOHANNESBURG (AP) South African soccer leader Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco “unqualified support” to host the 2026 World Cup in a contest against a combined North American bid.
The South African federation said Monday that Jordaan assured a visiting Morocco bid delegation “he will personally lobby” African officials ahead of the scheduled vote in Moscow on June 13.
Morocco is up against a United States-Canada-Mexico bid to stage the continent’s second World Cup. South Africa hosted in 2010, after beating Morocco and Egypt in a vote.
That South African bid is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for a suspicious $10 million payment to FIFA voters in the North American region. In indictments published by the justice department in 2015, two of the listed “co-conspirators” are South African soccer officials who are not identified.
Now, Morocco is competing against the Americans to co-host the 48-team tournament. Up to 207 FIFA member federations will vote at their congress on the eve of the World Cup in Russia.
North American bid leaders targeted the 14-member southern African soccer body COSAFA at a February meeting in Johannesburg.