But a few months after the selfie, Morocco would be stunned by Saudi Arabia’s conduct in Moscow.
on June the decisive month for both the Moroccan and United bids. Morocco was shocked, however, to find that Saudi Arabia officially lobbied against the Moroccan bid.
“We weighed the issue and, in the end, we went with what was in the best interest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Al Sheikh, saying that the country gave its word to the Americans.
On June 13, Morocco’s bid was knocked out of the race with only 65 votes, 33 percent of the vote. United 2026 won the rights to host with 67 percent of the vote at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.
On June 15, Morocco’s Minister of Culture and Communication Mohamed Laaraj said that that he would not participate in the meeting of communication ministers in the Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen on June 23 in Saudi Arabia because of his busy agenda.
After that Morocco did not express support for the Saudi royal family about Khashoggi murder.
Several countries condemned the killing of the journalist and its potential link to Mohammed bin Salman. Some countries also said that Saudi Arabia had crossed a “red line.”
Several political observers then questioned his decision not to include Morocco in his agenda. But Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita confirmed that Morocco had been on MBS’s schedule.
And also said that bin Salman did not visit Morocco because of King Mohammed VI’s schedule, but said no disagreement should be inferred from the occasion. “If relationships are measured by different schedules, this trivializes the relationship.”
After accomplishing the World Cup mission, Al Sheikh eyed Morocco’s territorial integrity as his next target.
The Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA), chaired by Turki Al Sheikh, posted online a Moroccan map split into three parts, excluding Western Sahara from Morocco. The UAFA later deleted the map and apologized.
In January, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita had an interview with Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera. Saudi-Moroccan diplomatic ties came up in the interview. He denied that there is tension between Morocco and Saudi Arabia but acknowledged that Morocco’s participation in Yemen has changed.
Bourita also implied that Morocco’s ambassador was summoned for consultations regarding the Saudi-Morocco diplomatic ties and nothing else.
Both ambassadors reportedly returned to their offices after consultations in Rabat.