Morocco Offers Details of its World Cup Bid

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The future Casablanca stadium for the 2026 Morocco bid (Wikipedia)
(WFI) With less than 12 weeks before FIFA decides where the 2026 World Cup will take place, Morocco officially presented this Saturday its bid to organize football’s global event.

At a press conference in Casablanca, the president of the Moroccan candidacy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, gave details of his country’s plans as it attempts for the fifth time to host the World Cup.

Previously Morocco tried unsuccessfully to organize the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament.

"The 2026 World Cup in Morocco will benefit players, fans, FIFA, Morocco, Africa and the whole world," said a statement published earlier by the North African country.

The Moroccan bid claims that at least 60 percent of the nations that will compete at the 2026 World Cup are located within three time zones of Morocco, meaning that fans around the world can watch the games at a time that suits them.

Financially officials in charge of the bid claim that a Moroccan World Cup would need a total of $15.8 billion in investments: $9.6 billion of the budget would be allocated to what the bid calls “pre-planned” public investment while $3.2 billion would be needed for a private-sector hotel investment. 

FIFA experts are expected for an official inspection visit to Moroccan soil on April 17 as the country is competing against a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Morocco’s stadiums still need major improvements and others still have to be built. But according to many experts, the Moroccan candidacy has the potential to make the vote on June 13 in Moscow closer than anticipated.

The decision will be taken for the first time in history by each of the 211 countries that belong to FIFA in an open ballot system that calls for wider transparency than before. Until now the World Cup hosts were selected solely by the football’s body Executive Committee.

Morocco is also hoping that the American-led investigation into corruption practices within FIFA will deter votes from going to the North American joint bid. Furthermore the insulting comments expressed recently by U.S president Donald Trump against developing countries could also put in jeopardy votes otherwise favorable to the North American candidacy.

FIFA will make its decision on the 2026 host at its Congress on June 13 in Moscow on the eve of the opening match of the 2018 World Cup.

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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