The World football governing body FIFA has sent back Guinea and Lebanon to their own affairs after both countries criticized FIFA’s electronic voting system on June 13 on the unveiling of World Cup 2026 host after both countries complained that their alleged votes for Morocco were rather sent to the United States-Canada-Mexico joint bid, HuffPost Maroc reports.
The United States-led joint bid won the June 13 vote with large margin but the aftermath of the election was marred by complaints by Guinea Conakry and Lebanon, which accused FIFA of manipulation after their votes went for the North American joint project. Both countries alleged that they voted for Morocco.
The complaints cast doubt on the electronic voting system.
FIFA in a statement sent to the media said that the voting system was flaw-free.
Guinean Football Federation head, Mamadou Antonio Souaré who voted at the ceremony in Moscow lambasted the result which showed Guinea’s vote cast for the American-Canadian-Mexican ticket.
Souaré had campaigned for the Moroccan bid. The man claimed that he could not afford to vote for the American joint bid. ‘A vote for the joint bid would be unimaginable’, he reportedly said.
Lebanese football association has maintained that it voted for Morocco and rapped FIFA over the electronic voting system.
The FIFA results raised tensions between the Lebanese ministry of sports and the football association. The ministry, before the vote, instructed the association to support Morocco’s bid, HuffPost Maroc notes.
A meeting is scheduled for June 19 between the two sides as the Lebanese ministry is seeking explanation.
Morocco garnered 64 votes. The North African country was stunned after its close allies, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries save Qatar and Oman voted for the American joint bit. Saudi Arabia also lobbied other Asian countries to abandon Morocco.
In March, an Arab League Summit in Riyadh called on member states to rally behind Morocco and so did the Organization of Islamic Conference.