The United States of America, Canada and Mexico joint 2026 World Cup bid campaign team, which is on a Southern African tour, will not visit Malawi.
The envoys from the three countries were in Mozambique and Zimbabwe this week to drum up support ahead of next week’s Fifa Congress in Russia when the battle for the 2026 Fifa World Cup will be put to a vote.
The three countries have launched a United bid to fend off the challenge from Morocco, who are vying to bring back the football jamboree to Africa for the second time in the tournament’s history after South Africa in 2010.
But Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday ruled out the possibility of the team visiting the country.
“Just heard about it. They are not stopping over,” said the FAM president.
Asked whether the association has come up with its choice, the FAM president said: “We did that long time ago, but I can’t disclose for obvious reasons.”
However, it is believed that FAM could vote for Morocco after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the North African country constructing a modern technical centre in Lilongwe as well as installing an artificial turf at Luwinga Technical Centre in Mzuzu, among other things.
According to one of Zimbabwe’s leading dailies, The Herald, four officials, led by Canada FA president Steven Reed, Mexico FA president Decio de Maria, Jim Brown, who is managing director of the united bid and communications expert Max Gleischman, arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday.
They were set to meet Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Phillip Chiyangwa and other senior government officials who also include Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo.
“They have come to present their bid to Zimbabwe. They will meet ZIFA president [Chiyangwa] and other government officials.
“As Zimbabwe, we haven’t made a decision about who to vote for yet. Probably after they had met the president a decision could be made by the Zifa executive committee,” the paper quoted Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda as saying.