Morocco Will Challenge U.S. Led Bid for 2026 World Cup. Morocco’s last-minute move, coming on FIFA’s deadline day, takes on the joint bid between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced its plans on Friday, the deadline set by FIFA for countries to confirm that they would bid, and said in a two-sentence statement on its website that it had submitted its application “to the relevant committees of FIFA. ”The United States, Canada and Mexico had already announced in April that they intend to put forward a joint bid.
— Football Maroc (@FootballMaroc) August 11, 2017
The North American bid was also helped by FIFA’s decision to clear the field of some of its biggest potential rivals. Earlier this year, FIFA confirmed that it would bar the confederations in Europe and Asia from bidding for 2026, locking out possible rivals like England and China, because Europe will host the 2018 tournament in Russia and Asia the 2022 event in Qatar.
In an effort to rotate the World Cup around the globe, FIFA blocks any of six confederations from hosting if they have been home to one of the previous two tournaments. So with four confederations either backing the United States bid or prohibited from challenging it, and South America focused on the 2030 race, that left only Africa as a wild card.
The World Cup has only been hosted once in Africa – in South Africa in 2010 – and this will be Morocco’s fifth bid.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) gave its backing to a Moroccan bid in July.
The interested Member Associations will now move on to officially register their bids and agree to the terms and conditions of the enhanced bidding process that will select the venue of the first FIFA World Cup to be played with 48 teams.
Finally, the decision on whether to select one of the above bidders to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be taken by the 68th FIFA Congress, which will convene in Moscow on 13 June next year, on the eve of the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.