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Why Letshwiti chose North America over Morocco

MQONDISI DUBE
Letshwiti
Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti said the decision to vote for the North American bid was entirely his call and was influenced by financial benefits to the game.

Letshwiti met President Mokgweetsi Masisi hours before flying out to cast his vote in Russia last Wednesday. 

The BFA president voted for the joint North America bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States of America over Morocco. 

He said while he met Masisi, the decision to choose the North American bid was entirely based on the FIFA vision. 

"It was entirely my vote. We looked at the bid that will benefit football worldwide. We looked at the vision of FIFA. The (FIFA) president spoke about financial stability; he spoke about development and growing the women's game. All those, call for funding. We had to look at marketing initiatives that bring revenue to FIFA," he said.

The North American bid projected profits of $11 billion

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from hosting the 2026 World Cup while Morocco's was at $5 billion. Funding for development is at $1.4 billion and Letshwiti said this was still not enough.

"So we had to chose a bid, which is in line with FIFA's vision and that was the North American bid. It was not about (geographical) regions, but the best bid," he said.

"You can even see that the majority of the associations agreed that the American bid was the best."

The North American bid garnered 134 votes to Morocco's 65.

Morocco's bid had suffered earlier reversal when a FIFA technical committee assessing progress scored the North African bid at 2.5 out of five marks, while the North Americans received over four out five marks.



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