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Rabat- Less than two months before the final vote for hosting rights of the 2026 World Cup, Morocco has already secured the continental bloc: all African national federations, or almost all, are reported to endorse the North African bid.Beyond mere endorsement, though, there is a genuine feeling of thrill among the African federations at possibility of a second World Cup on the continent. For the national federations that have publicly pledged their votes to Morocco, a Moroccan victory on June 13 would be synonymous with an African victory.The Cameroon legend Patrick Mboma, whose country has already vowed to support Morocco, denies Morocco’s characterization as a lone bid. Morocco 2026 is Africa 2026, the Cameroonian suggested, adding that Morocco has been an African stalwart in various sectors–a trendsetter and a genuine partner for fellow African countries. “I hope that the entire continent votes for Morocco, because its bid is solid. Since its readmission in the African Union (AU) in February 2017, this country has been a sincere advocate for Africa. Its role—diplomatic and economic—is real, concrete. The African must help a fellow African,” the Cameroonian said.But, BBC warns, Morocco has still a lot on its plate, as it has not yet secured the sympathy of the whole continent. According to the British outlet’s estimates, of the 54 African voters, 49 have officially lent their support to Morocco 2026. This means that 5 voters are yet to publicly announce with which side their sympathy or loyalty will lie on June 13.Although political leaders in Liberia, Botswana, Nigeria, and beyond have reaffirmed their countries’ unfailing supports to Morocco 2026, BBC cautions that the final decision resides with national federations, some of which may decide to change course on D-day.But, as things now stand, such a scenario is rather tenuous. CAF president, Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad, has repeatedly stated that he hopes is for the whole African footballing world will vote for Morocco and boost Africa’s chances of being taken seriously in the international footballing community.What is more, according to Le Monde, BBC’s warnings miss something of real significance: the endorsement of Algeria and South Africa. President Albdelaziz Bouteflika might have shocked many when he announced, following Tunisia, that Algeria will also be on Morocco’s side in Moscow. As for South Africa, in spite of its ruling party’s pro-Polisario rhetoric, the recent Pretoria-Rabat rapprochement, although not full-fledged yet, heralds rosy prospects, especially with reports that some in President Cyril Ramophosa’s inner circles have important businesses in the kingdom.These may come across as trite political considerations that yield no clout in the final decision; but given the politics involved in tournament like the World Cup, diplomatic and strategic calculations are of paramount importance. “When it comes to its sports diplomacy, Morocco has good and strong partnerships with over 40 African federations,” a diplomatic source told Le Monde on the topic, arguing that politics does play a key role in votes such as the one scheduled for June 13 in Moscow.Ultimately, beyond the borders of Morocco, a Moroccan World Cup would mean a lot for those in the continent who sometimes feel left behind and ignored in international debates. Africa should stand by Morocco because victory for Morocco means victory for the continent, both in terms of prestige and pride, explained former Algerian international Anthar Yahia, saying that he is “optimistic about Morocco’s bid’s prospects.”“The continent needs to organize events of international stature. And Morocco has the required capabilities. I remember that for South Africa 2010, there were questions about organization, safety, security… but everything went so smoothly. There always are prejudices about Africa. And what more than a World Cup can fight against this sentiment?” the Algerian asked.With 54 African nations and the majority of Arab countries expected to vote for Morocco 2026, the next stop for Morocco 2026’s is Europe. And there, too, things look rather promising: France, Belgium, Russia, Luxembourg, and Serbia have already publicly endorsed Morocco 2026.So, despite the CONMEBOL shock, Morocco, which needs to convince at least 104 voters to back its bid, is doing better than many had anticipated possible back when North African kingdom announced that it would challenge the North American triumvirate in August 2017. read more