Morocco will bid to host the 2026 World Cup, emerging as a last-minute challenger — and a potential complication — to a United States-led campaign that appeared to be coasting to victory unopposed. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced its ...
Morocco, a nation whose population of 33 million is one-tenth the size of the United States’, bid for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, losing out each time in part because its rivals were deemed better equipped to pull off the event. Hosting an expanded tournament would require billions of dollars of investment, and as a result its decision to enter the race came as a mild surprise to some in FIFA. Africa has hosted the tournament only once, in South Africa in 2010. The United States, which lost a much criticized vote for the 2022 tournament, last hosted in 1994.
Under the United States-Mexico-Canada plan, the United States would get 60 of the 80 games, and every match from the quarterfinals through the championship game. Canada and Mexico, while full partners in the bid, would host matches only in earlier rounds.
The three countries were so confident in the strength of their proposal that in March, a month before revealing they would bid as a group, the presidents of the soccer federations of the United States, Mexico and Canada asked FIFA to grant them an exclusive window to prove that their bid met all the technical requirements for hosting the tournament.
In May, FIFA voted to approve an expedited process, extending the deadline for applications three months, a period that ended on Friday. FIFA will now carry out inspections of the bids and issue a final report to FIFA’s member associations by March 2018. A final vote will be held at the FIFA Congress three months later.
“We’ve always been prepared for the fact that other countries could also decide to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement released by the organizing committee for the North American bid. “Competition is good, and overall it shows the value and importance of the World Cup.”
World Cup 2026 (soccer),International Federation of Association Football (FIFA)