US dismiss Morocco calls for its territories to be pulled from FIFA’s 2026 vote

Source : Inside World Football

May 11 – Morocco’s rivals to stage the 2026 World Cup have defended the right of four US-governed territories to take part in next month’s vote after the north Africans complained in writing to FIFA about a potential conflict of interest.

Neither Morocco nor the joint bidders from the United States, Canada and Mexico are allowed to vote but Morocco believes that should also extend to American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

But the North American bid denied it has gained an unfair advantage.

A spokesman for the North American bid told the Guardian newspaper: “FIFA is organised around soccer federations and that’s what allows you to vote.

“This is not who’s under the reach of the Queen or who’s a former French colonial authority. This is who has a soccer federation. The Faroe Islands has a soccer federation, Iran has a soccer federation and that’s what this is about, a soccer tournament. This is not the United Nations.”

Morocco counters that this misses the point, officials pointing out privately that their complaint only refers to countries directly connected to bidding candidates, not others in the ballot whose territories might have historic allegiances.

In a statement, a FIFA spokesman said all member associations are entitled to “participate and vote” at the congress in Moscow in June, providing they do not have a conflict of interest, as laid out in the bidding regulations issued in October.

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