Morocco Seeks to Spoil North American World Cup Bid

Morocco

Morocco on Friday launched its bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

Morocco has formally submitted its application to organize the 2026 World Cup, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced on Friday."The FRMF has officially filed its application to the specialized commissions of the International Football Federation (FIFA) to host the World Cup 2026", the body said in a statement.

The United Bid Committee kicked off its efforts in July by announcing the Board of Directors and the executive leadership team that includes Executive Director John Kristick, Managing Director of Technical Operations Jim Brown, Canada Bid Director Peter Montopoli, who is the Canada Soccer General Secretary, and Mexico Bid Director Yon De Luisa, who is a Televisa Vice President.

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. If successful, the North African state will follow Russian Federation and Qatar in hosting the blue-riband soccer event. The bid from North America believes it has the required infrastructure and venues to host the expanded 48-team World Cup.

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The north Africans have received backing from African federation (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad, who said he was "convinced" the country is ready to host a World Cup.

The World Cup has only previously been staged in one African country - South Africa, which hosted the event in 2010.

The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russian Federation. Morocco's bid may also be undermined by the fact that it backed out of its last major hosting duties, when it won the rights to but then declined to stage the 2015 African Cup of Nations at the last moment because of fears over the spread of the Ebola virus from West Africa.

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