FIFA World Cup 2026: United bid gets boost, Morocco labelled ‘high risk’

FIFA World Cup 2026: United bid gets boost, Morocco labelled ‘high risk' - InsideSport
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In an evaluation process before the final voting process, FIFA inspectors have labelled Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid as ‘high risk’ to the tournament. The reason to label it ‘high risk’ given is lack of infrastructure in Morocco. On the other hand, the FIFA inspectors have awarded North America’s United bid a significantly higher score in an evaluation report.

Despite of it being labelled ‘high risk’, Moroccan bid will now move on to the FIFA council for the final ballot. The North African country will now compete against United 2026 – which is comprised of the United States, Canada and Mexico – in a public vote staged at the Fifa Congress in Moscow on June 13. Either bidder could have been disqualified if it had scored less than two out of five in the overall average scoring in the Task Force report, and less than two on key measures including stadia.

Morocco 2026 registered a total score of 275 out of 500, for an average of 2.7 out of five. It scored its highest mark of 4.6 out of five for the media and marketing section, and a low of 2.1 for transport plans.

With the United 2026 bid flexing big financial muscles backed by Donald Trump’s appeal for votes to nations, a rather threatening stance, Morocco’s bid for the 2026 edition of FIFA World Cup seems to be slowly withering out its charm. However, the African nation is still gearing up the hard way for the final approval at the FIFA Congress.

After a thorough assessment of the respective bid books and visits to the relevant member associations, the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force have confirmed that the two bids have achieved the required score and will be submitted to the FIFA Council, in line with the bidding regulation.

However, the task force have labelled Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid as ‘high risk’ to the tournament due to a lack of infrastructure, while awarding North America’s United bid a significantly higher score in an evaluation report. Under the Bidding Regulations, FIFA established a bid evaluation model comprising three components viz. Bid compliance assessment, Overall risk assessment, and Technical evaluation.

Despite the low score, the Moroccan bid will now move on to the FIFA Council for final ballot approval for both candidates on 10th June in Moscow. The final vote at the Fifa Congress is three days later and will be decided by up to 207 member nations in a public vote where the inspection scores can be ignored in regard to deciding the destination of the sport’s international showpiece.

Morocco’s bid could have faced disqualification if it had scored less than two out of five in the overall average scoring, and less than two on key measures including stadiums. The task force flagged its proposal on stadiums, accommodation and transport as ‘high risks’ in a score of 275 out of 500 in contrast with the joint bid that received 402 out of 500.

The Task Force issued evaluations of high, medium and low risk across 20 different sectors, with Morocco 2026 deemed to have a high risk for stadia, accommodation and transport, with a further 10 items deemed to be of medium risk.

United 2026 registered an overall score of 402 out of 500 for an average mark of four out of five. The Americas bid secured a perfect score of five for its ticketing and hospitality plans, with 4.9 for media and marketing. It’s lowest score of two came for organisational costs.

United 2026’s bid is only deemed to be of medium risk for organising costs, government support and human rights/labour standards. All 17 of the other sectors were judged to be of low risk.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first to expand from 32 to 48 teams, putting increased stress on hosts. In its report, the Task Force noted: “As Fifa’s flagship tournament, taking place only every four years, the Fifa World Cup also acts as a hub of sporting innovation, with a responsibility to push new boundaries in terms of sports-related technology and engagement.

The report also noted of the Morocco 2026 bid: “Accommodation was assessed as being the largest challenge facing the Morocco 2026 bid. Only two of the 14 proposed stadiums would have sufficient levels of general accommodation to meet the minimum requirements.”

The 2026 World Cup is the first tournament FIFA has confirmed will expand from 32 to 48 teams – putting increased infrastructure demands on the hosts to stage 80 games.

Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco 2026 bid president, meanwhile has said, “We will now continue to present to voters our vision for Morocco 2026, and will aim to convince the majority of member associations to vote for our nation at FIFA Congress on 13th June. In the coming days, we will continue our mission to demonstrate to Fifa and the entire football family, our ability to deliver a highly profitable and truly authentic Fifa World Cup – one that will leave a lasting legacy for the world of football.”


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