LeFA explains World Cup votes U-turn

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Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has explained its reasons for changing their decision to vote for Morocco at the FIFA congress held last week in Russia.

LeFA had initially told the Lesotho Times that it would support Morocco’s bid over a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada for the rights to stage the 2026 World Cup.

Morocco in the end lost to the American countries.

The North African country had in March this year sent a delegation to Lesotho led by former Nigerian striker, Daniel Amokachi to present their bid to sports minister Mahali Phamotse and LeFA.

LeFA secretary general, Motheo Mohapi who was among the country’s three representative at the FIFA congress, said they changed their minds after the two bids were given a chance to make last minutes presentations.

Mohapi said changing their decision was purely a football decision.

“There was last minute canvasing by the two bids and we changed our decision

“I do not want to go into other issues but we made a football decision.

“It is not necessarily about what you get when you vote for a certain country but there are geo-political considerations that are involved.

“Even the government also has interests so in such instances we make many considerations.”

Morocco hoped to emulate South Africa as the second African country to host the global showcase. South Africa hosted the competition in 2010.

This year’s bid was the North African country’s fifth and they got 65 votes, less than half of the US, Mexico and Canada’s 134 votes.

The 2026 tournament will be first to have 48 teams increased from the current 32 teams. It will also have 80 games while the current one has 64 games.

Mexico has previously hosted the World Cup in 1970 and in 1986 while the US hosted the tournament in 1994.

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