Sports

Morocco Loses Bid To Host the 2026 World Cup to Joint North American Pact

Global politics and infrastructure concerns may have dulled Morocco's chances of becoming the second African country to host the World Cup in its 88 year history.

Morocco has lost its bid to host the next World Cup, BBC Sport reports.

Earlier this morning, 200 FIFA members gathered at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow to vote between Morocco and a joint bid between Canada, Mexico and the United States known as the "United 2026" bid, which ultimately won the rights to host the games with 134 votes compared to Morocco's 65. Ghana, whose soccer association was disbanded last week following a BBC exposé that revealed rampant corruption, was notably absent from voting.

People on social media have noted that a number of fellow African nations who were present voted against Morocco, which many believe is due to the ongoing Western Sahara conflict. The full list of votes has been published on FIFA's website.

"United 2026"

The 2026 games are set to be the biggest yet, according to BBC Sport, 48 teams will play 80 matches over the span of 34 days.

"United 2026" will mark the first time that the tournament will be hosted by three separate nations.There will be a total of 16 host cities, 10 in the United States and the rest split evenly between Canada and Mexico.

Morocco's Bidding History

This was Morocco's fifth time bidding to host the World Cup. Their latest bid was plagued early on when members of FIFA's bid evaluation task force ran an investigation into an alleged conflict of interest involving FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura and Morocco's bid ambassador El Hadji Diouf who were thought to be undeclared relatives. She was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

The task force also raised concerns about "lack of infrastructure," as 14 of the stadiums included in Morocco's proposal were yet to be built.

"I wish to congratulate Fifa for the conduct of this process and congratulate the president for what he has done in order to move things towards more transparency and more inclusion," said Morocco's Football Federation president Fouzi Lekjaa.

"I would like to reaffirm the determination of my country to continue to work for football and realise one day our dream to host the World Cup in Morocco."

South Africa remains the only African nation to have hosted the games in its 88 year history.

More from around the web:

"World Cup 2026: Canada, US & Mexico joint bid wins right to host tournament"

"Moroccan World Cup Bid Could Stem African Migration"

"Western Sahara conflict impacts Morocco 2026 World Cup bid"

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.