The Royal Netherlands Football Association will vote for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The KNVB made the announcement on the eve of the vote, scheduled today, 13 June, at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. FIFA members will decide between Morocco and a joint North American bid by United States, Canada, Mexico.
"We feel connected with Africa and Morocco", KNVB President Michael van Praag commented from Moscow. Van Praag and Secretary General Gijs de Jong are attending the Congress on behalf of the KNVB. "We want to give something back to all the wonderful things that Africa and Morocco have brought Dutch football in recent years. We want to show our gratitude to Mike Obiku, Nwankwo Kanu, Kalusha Bwalya, Karim el Ahmadi, Hakim Ziyech, Ibrahim Afellay and all other players with African roots who've contributed to football in the Netherlands."
Gijs de Jong added that the Netherlands Football Association has chosen in favour of the Moroccan bid "to show loyalty to an important part of our Dutch society, namely to the community rooted in Morocco. This loyalty is a logical consequence of the KNVB’s drive to promote diversity in all sections of our society. We therefore see it as a moral obligation to vote for Morocco.”
The KNVB emphasizes that the decision was made with a view to the future of football, tp promoting the game in as many places in the world as possible. The association adds that it should remain possible for 'smaller' countries and smaller economies to host a major tournament. "Football must be accessible to everyone, in all countries and continents," says Van Praag, "Also literally: Morocco is easily accessible for football fans from our country, but also the distances within Morocco are manageable."
The timing of the KNVB's announcement, prior to the vote, stems from the desire to pursue optimum transparency, also in voting matters.