Club World Cup a 'test' for Morocco credentials - Blatter
21 November 2013, 23:43
Rabat - FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a Moroccan newspaper on Thursday that next month's Club World Cup will provide a test of the north African country's prospects of hosting a future World Cup.
The last eight editions of the Club World Cup have been held either in Japan or the United Arab Emirates, but this year's competition will be staged in Morocco from December 11-21, with games being played in Agadir and Marrakech.
Morocco missed out on hosting the 2010 World Cup to South Africa but Blatter is keen to see how they cope ahead of a possible bid for the 2026 World Cup finals.
"When Morocco failed with their candidature for the 2010 World Cup, the king said to me that his country would not give up," Blatter was quoted as saying in an interview with the daily Al Massae.
The Club World Cup "is a true test for Morocco, to see close up how capable they could be of organising a World Cup.
"Africa is waiting for its turn in 2026 after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.
"And I hope that Morocco will also be a candidate."
The country is also set to host the 2014 Club World Cup, before staging the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, when games will be played in Tangiers and Rabat as well as in Agadir and Marrakech.
Blatter also said that FIFA had "insisted several times" that the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) cancel their general assembly, staged on November 10 and which saw Fouzi Lekjaa, a civil servant in the finance ministry, appointed president.
FIFA have called for new elections early in 2014, claiming that the recent vote went against their directives, and will examine the issue during their executive committee meeting in Brazil on December 4-5.