World football governing body FIFA has confirmed that it has received a late formal bid by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Friday 11th of August 2017.
Morocco emerged as a late challenger in the race to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup when she submitted her bid on Friday, the deadline day set by FIFA for countries to express their interest in hosting the tournament. Morocco will look to spoil the party for Mexico, Canada and the USA who submitted their joint bid in April to host an all North American World Cup, their bid was set to go unopposed until an eleventh hour bid by the North African country.
The brief statement by Morocco to FIFA read, “The Moroccan Football Federation officially presented its bid on Friday August 2017 to hold the 2026 World Cup. The federation has sent documents of the bid to FIFA, who will organize this world event.” This will be the fifth bid made by Morocco to host the tournament after four unsuccessful bids in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010. USA and Mexico on the other hand have previously hosted the tournament in 1994 and (1970, 1986) respectively. Canada on the other hand successfully hosted the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Morocco successfully hosted the 1988 African Cup of Nations but backed out of the 2015 tournament citing fears of the widespread Ebola virus at the time. If they win the rights to host the tournament, this would be the second time that an African nation will host the prestigious World Cup tournament after South Africa hosted it back in 2010.
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Morocco stand a good chance of hosting the tournament because Europe and Asia are locked out due to the FIFA rotational policy, Russia(Europe) is set to host the 2018 tournament while the 2022 tournament is set to be hosted by Qatar (Asia). Morocco however will have to build on the six stadiums that it already has because this will the first World Cup to implement the 48 teams. The announcement of the winner to host the World Cup will be made in May 2020.