Moroccan Federation Says Will Bid to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup
12 August, 2017, 01:39
Morocco's football federation (FRMF) announced on Friday that it had told the sport's world governing body FIFA it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
Morocco has failed in four previous World Cup bids; in 1994 - when it lost to the US - 1998, 2006, and 2010 - when it lost to South Africa.
But Fifa president Gianni Infantino has echoed Ahmad's endorsement, saying that Morocco has the necessary "infrastructure and organisational capacity" to host the World Cup.
Morocco's chances of winning the 2026 hosting rights may be boosted by its huge tourism industry and its reputation as a relatively liberal Islamic country.
It will join the United States, Canada and Mexico that had all already announced a joint North American bid to host the event.
The 211 Member Associations will then vote on the host city of the 2026 World Cup at the June 13 Congress, well before the date in 2020 once planned for that decision.
In 2010, the hosting right was awarded to South Africa who remains the only African country to have hosted the World Cup.
Federation Internationale de Football Association recently expanded the tournament to 48 teams, rather than the former 32.
Morocco and the Canada, Mexico and US bidders must now officially register their bids and agree to a new bidding process that will conclude at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup next June.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has already given its backing to any Moroccan bid in July.
Morocco has also come under scrutiny and is accused of bribery in two of its previous World Cup bids, the ones for the '98 and 2010 tournaments.
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