Morocco Trade Deals Raise FIFA Questions

FIFA wants to know about those trade deals and votes.

 

 

Some trade deals between Morocco and two Caribbean island nations, Dominica and St. Lucia have raised some eyebrows in the FIFA-World Cup orbit. Did the agreements come with a major string attached? Did Dominica and St. Lucia agree to give Morocco their World Cup 2026 votes? Believe it or not, FIFA has rules that preclude governments from being involved with national associations although United States and Swiss prosecutors have gone after certain FIFA delegates and have charged them with bribery in the process of awarding World Cup events to countries. There is a concern that Morocco, Dominica and St. Lucia have violated FIFA rules. Morocco is one of two bidders for the 2026 World Cup. The other is a three-way bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico. FIFA will hand out the 2026 World Cup rights on June 13.

Dominica’s deal with Morocco includes agriculture and student scholarships. The pact was between governments although Dominica’s Foreign Minister Francine Baron did say that Dominica would support Morocco’s World Cup bid. That got the attention of the interim President of the Caribbean Football Union Randolph Harris. “Governments don’t really vote in the FIFA Congress. I have not heard any confirmation from the FAs of either Dominica or St. Lucia indicating that they have endorsed these statements that were made publicly about their support for Morocco.” FIFA apparently is worried that governments are asserting pressure on national football associations because of trade deals. This is the same FIFA that has lost a number of American and Canadian cities that wanted to be in the running to host 2026 World Cup matches because of certain demands that the governing body of world soccer made. Chicago, Minneapolis and Vancouver told FIFA no because among other things, FIFA wanted a 10-year tax exemption from the cities. Why pay taxes? The World Cup is all about political maneuvering.

 

 

Never too early to plan ahead for the 2026 World Cup.