Morocco 'should have hosted' 2010 Fifa football World Cup

Morocco 'should have hosted' 2010 Fifa football World Cup
Leaked recordings show Fifa official claiming that Morocco won the vote ahead of South Africa, but other officials implicate Morocco in Fifa corruption.
2 min read
08 June, 2015
Morocco last played at the 1998 World Cup & missed out on holding 2010 (Getty)

Scandals have carried on emerging from the fall-out of US and Swiss investigations into football's governing body, Fifa, as it has now shockingly been claimed that Morocco was the rightful winner of the right to host the 2010 World Cup, which instead went to South Africa.

The honour of hosting the African continent's first World Cup may have been manipulated, according to recordings released by The Sunday Times of a former Fifa executive member, the Botswanan Ismail Bhamjee.

“Morocco actually won the vote to host the World Cup... but Blatter [inaudible] the whole thing,” Bhamjee is heard to say, appearing to implicate Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who was re-elected president despite the arrests of several Fifa vice-presidents on May 27. Blatter resigned days later, saying that he would stay on until a vote could be held.

Yet the claim that Morocco won by two votes does not allow Morocco to come out of the whole Fifa corruption saga well, with an undercover video showing Fifa's former director of competitions, Michel Bacchini, claiming that both the Moroccan and South African bids had bribed disgraced ex-Fifa official, Jack Warner, who was kicked out of the organisation in 2011 on corruption charges.

Bacchini claims that Warner took a $1 million bribe to back Morocco, but then accepted a bigger bribe from South Africa.

Warner is said to have touted seven votes he controlled for $1 million each.

“Warner was the one who approached us from Fifa,” said Egypt's former Minister of Youth and Sport, Aley Eddine Helal. “He said he could guarantee us seven votes... He asked for one million dollars for each vote.”

Egypt were also in the running for the 2010 World Cup, but did not receive a single vote. Helal's claim has been backed by the Egyptian Football Association's president at the time.

Separately, Fifa's head of audit and compliance, Domenico Scala, has said that Russia and Qatar could lose the right to hold the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, if evidence of bribery emerges.

“Should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled,” Scala said.