France has joined the likes of Luxembourg and Serbia who have officially announced support for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
France Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said on Thursday that his body would cast its vote for the North African country, which is ‘closer to France’ than the other bidders.
“I don’t see myself not supporting a country close to us,” Le Graet told L’Equipe.
“Africa has only had one World Cup in its history (South Africa in 2010), it's not much. Morocco is ready, even though it doesn’t have the same level of infrastructure as its opponents.
“France has only one vote but will perhaps help to persuade Europe to choose Morocco,” he said.
Earlier this week, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation accused Fifa of modifying the selection criteria at the last moment, with its president Fouzi Lekjaa confirming the submission of an official complaint.
The new criteria include a guarantee that the host cities have at least 250,000 inhabitants, a minimum airport capacity of 60 million passengers per year, an increase in the size of fan zones and the respect of a maximum distance of 90 minutes from the airport to the host city.
This is the fifth time Morocco is bidding to host a Fifa World Cup, and will face competition from North American trio United States, Canada and Mexico who have submitted a joint bid.
The 2026 World Cup will have 48 participants as opposed to the former 36-team format.
The winner (host nation (s)) will be announced on June 13 in Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup.