Morocco hopes it's fifth time lucky in bid for 2026 World Cup
Morocco will go up against North America in the battle to stage soccer's World Cup in 2026 after the Royal Moroccan Football Federation met today's deadline to submit expressions of interest to Fifa.
The Confederation of African Football gave its backing to a Moroccan bid late last month, and the country will now hope to become only the second from the continent to stage the tournament, following South Africa in 2010.
Morocco also bid to host that World Cup, its fourth unsuccessful pitch after failed attempts for the 1994, 1998 and 2006 events. The North African country was due to stage the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, only for the tournament to be switched to Equatorial Guinea after an outbreak of Ebola.
In April, the national federations of USA, Canada and Mexico announced their intention to lodge a three-way bid to host the 2026 World Cup, which will involve 48 teams, up from 32 in Qatar in 2022.
Fifa said today that the two bids have until next March to submit their documents, after which an evaluation will be carried out by the governing body.
The decision on whether to select one of the bidders to host the 2026 World Cup will be taken by the Fifa congress in Moscow on 13 June 2018, on the eve of the opening match of the next World Cup.
Fifa's rotational hosting policy meant North America and Africa were among four confederations free to bid to host the tournament as Europe (Russia 2018) and Asia (Qatar 2022) could not be considered.
The North American bid is the strong favourite not least because the World Cup has not been held in the Concacaf region since USA was the host in 1994.