CASABLANCA: Ahmad Ahmad, Madagascar’s president of the African football confederation, has snubbed a FIFA directive and come out in favour of Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Last week the world football federation issued a lengthy missive cautioning federations and officials to refrain from bringing their preferences into the public domain.

FIFA Congress will vote on June 13 in Moscow on whether to award the 2026 finals to Morocco or to a co-hosting bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

However, FIFA had already undermined its neutrality demands by announcing that the voting preference of all 211 national associations will be open to public scrutiny.

Ahmad told CAF Congress in Casablanca that his executive committee had decided formally to support host Morocco.

He said: “How can one not manifest one’s position when the vote is by show of hands? Besides, I have already commented on the situation. I will not tell you how, nor when, I will act on this, but we will see little by little what room exists for manoeuvre compared with the texts in force.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who had supported Ahmad’s successful bid last year to oust long-serving Issa Hayatou as CAF supremo, had appealed to delegates from Africa’s national associations to maintain neutrality in the debate.

He said: “The bid procedure must be the healthiest possible. It’s about our credibility.”