The Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) new president Ahmad has thrown his weight behind Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
The North African nation is keen to follow in the footsteps of South Africa, which successfully hosted the 2010 World Cup, the first held on the African continent.
In an outcome that has surprised many in Africa, Issa Hayatou’s reign at CAF ended this month as Madagascan government minister Ahmad was elected as the new president of the Confederation of African Football.
Hayatou had been in charge for the last 29 years, but CAF’s 53 member associations decided that change was necessary.
The 57-year-old Madagascan won the CAF presidency by 34 votes to 20 in the election results, with his 70-year-old rival in the elections forced out by a younger generation of soccer officials from all over Africa.
Ahmad has jumped straight into his new role, and is in Morocco to support the country’s bid to host the most popular sporting event on the planet in nine year’s time.
The new president of Africa’s soccer governing body has been vocal about his belief in the Moroccans to hold a successful competition, and speaking to the media he reiterated those thoughts.
“We are convinced that Morocco could organise this competition just as was done by South Africa in 2010,” Ahmad admitted, according to TheCitizen.
New FIFA president Gianni Infantino praised the country during a recent visit to Africa, and his words have built confidence that Morocco could potentially become the second African country to host the World Cup.
Infantino was impressed with the infrastructure and organisational capacity to host the World Cup, which are key ingredients for a successful bid.
Morocco previously attempted to host the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but they were unsuccessful on each of those occasions. This will certainly be their best chance, following tournaments to be hosted by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.