Morocco announces bid to host 2026 World Cup

Russia, Qatar... Morocco? African country submits 2026 World Cup hosting bid

The deadline for countries to express their intention to bid to host the tournament is Friday, at which point Federation Internationale de Football Association will confirm the bidders.

The deadline for a country to express their intention to bid to host the tournament is Friday.

The Moroccan football federation launched its bid to Fifa this morning (Friday August 11). The joint bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico was announced in April.

As part of current World Cup rotation rules, UEFA and the Asian Football Confederation are not eligible as Russian Federation and Qatar are hosting the 2018 and 2022 editions respectively.

In 2010, the hosting right was awarded to South Africa who remains the only African country to have hosted the World Cup.

That decision put Morocco in conflict with the Confederation of African Football, but CAF is now under new leadership and president Ahmad of Madagascar has been supportive of the idea of Morocco bidding for the World Cup.

Reinforcing the challenge of becoming only the second African nation to host a World Cup, and the first from North Africa, Morocco would also have to handle the largest World Cup ever in terms of teams.

A decision to increase the number of national teams participating in the World Cup from the current number of 32 up to a total of 48 was unanimously approved by the FIFA Council at its session in Zurich in January.

The announcement of the host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be announced in 2020.

The expedited process for the 2026 event will see the host nation decided at next year's FIFA Congress on June 13 in Moscow, held prior to the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

It would be Morocco's fifth candidacy having come up short already in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010. Morocco denied the allegations.

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