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UEFA Europa League
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 By Ian Holyman

France to support Morocco, not U.S.-led bid, in 2026 World Cup voting

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet

France will vote for Morocco to stage the 2026 World Cup and not the bid prepared by the United States, Canada and Mexico, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told L'Equipe.

Morocco will go head to head with the North American bid when all of FIFA's eligible member nations vote on the host on June 13, the day before Russia and Saudi Arabia kick off this year's competition.

"I don't see myself not supporting a country that is close to us," Le Graet said. "Africa has only had one World Cup. That's not a lot.

"Morocco is ready, even if they don't have the same means as their fellow contenders. France only has one vote, but perhaps we will give momentum in Europe to choose Morocco."

Sources told ESPN FC in February that there is expected to be strong resistance to the North American bid, with not only Africa but much of Asia and South America expected to support Morocco.

Earlier this week, government officials from Caribbean nations Dominica and Saint Lucia said they would also vote for Morocco. So while other continental confederations are likely to vote in blocs, CONCACAF is seeing its support for the North American bid split.

"Dominica, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, has a lot to learn from Morocco, which could help us become the first climate resilient country in the world," Dominica foreign minister Francine Baron said.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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