Morocco 2026 Faces Its Biggest Test

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Morocco is alone in challenging the powerful North American bid (pxhere.com)
(WFI) The executives in charge of the Morocco 2026 World Cup bid know that this week is crucial to determine the fate of their work.

Starting on Tuesday, April 16, five FIFA Task Force members will be on Moroccan soil for a three-day inspection to assess the country’s ability to host the 2026 FIFA football event. These are the same inspectors from the sport’s governing body that visited last week the United North American bid to also organize the planetary tournament.

Ahead of this new inspection, the President of the Morocco 2026 Bid Committee, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, has made one more attempt at underlining what his candidacy is trying to accomplish:

“Morocco is offering FIFA and the global football family an innovative and compact concept to ensure operational efficiency, outstanding profitability and a lasting legacy in Morocco and Africa,” says Elalamy in a press release.

”The World Cup in Morocco would not only be a source of pride but also a great catalyst for development. Throughout the week the Bid Committee teams will strive to convey the vision of a humble, passionate, determined bid, but above all a professional and solid one,” he added.

The Task Force will visit several cities in Morocco to assess the readiness of stadiums, training camps, “Fan Fest” sites and media centers among other infrastructure related to the organization of the competition.

The Inspection Team will use a point-scoring system to evaluate the two candidates. Should a bid not meet a minimum score on a number of different points, it will be disqualified before the final vote on June 13 in Moscow.

Morocco's bid plays heavily on the country's passion for football and its fan culture, on its relatively compact size, its proximity to Europe and climate.

This is not the first attempt by the North African kingdom to host a World Cup as it made four unsuccessful bids to organize the tournament in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Morocco was second to the U.S. for 1994, behind France for 1998 and just lost out to South Africa for the 2010 finals, the only time the event has been held in Africa.

In all those instances, though, the decision was made solely by FIFA’s Executive Committee. This time the winner to host the 2026 World Cup will be determined in a vote by the 206 eligible members among FIFA's 211 countries. The four countries involved in the bidding are not allowed to vote along with Guatemala, which is currently suspended.

Thus far both candidacies have receiving some public backing: Morocco has the support of France, Russia and other European nations aside for the bulk of the African vote in its favor including South Africa.

The North American bid has received the official endorsement of South America and Central America.

As happened with the United bid during the FIFA inspection of Mexico, United States and Canada, no media will be able to attend this inspection visit in Morocco.

Feature picture: pixabay.com 


By INSIDER Javier Monne 

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