By Esther Egbe
Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola has declared that Nigeria can enter into a joint-bid with Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup, because a single African country might not be able to pull off the feat,National Daily learnt.
With Morocco having already entered the race in a bidding war with three North American countries, the former Lagos State governor is of a view that a joint-bid with Nigeria could be a stronger option, adding that the country’s legendary resilience in such matters would make a difference.
Morocco’s bid has been submitted alongside a joint venture by USA, Canada and Mexico to FIFA for consideration in hosting the 2026 World Cup, which will have a total of 48 countries, 16 more than Russia 2018.
French Football Federation (FFF) president, Noel Le Graet said his country will vote for Morocco to stage the 2026 World Cup and not the bid prepared by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Morocco will confront the North American joint-bid when FIFA’s 211 member nations decide on the vote a day before 2018 hosts, Russia and Saudi Arabia kick off this year’s edition of the competition, and the North Africans can now be assured of support from France.
However, ahead of FIFA’s expected announcement of the successful bid on June 13, Fashola said the indomitable Nigerian spirit will rise to the occasion and deliver a super event for Africa, in a joint-bid with Morocco.
Fashola said: “Morocco are bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, Nigeria should have jointly bid with Morocco because we can do it.
“With the expanded format of the World Cup, it will now be too expensive for one country to host it.
“Like we did when we hosted the 2009 FIFA U17 World Cup, when the gauntlet is thrown at us, we will rise to the occasion.
“The indomitable, undying spirit of the Nigerian will come to the fore when we have a deadline to meet. We will clean up our house to welcome visitors from around the world.