Surprise: Morocco submits last-minute 2026 World Cup bid

Friday was the deadline for bidders interested in hosting the 2026 World Cup to express their intentions to FIFA. In a last-minute surprise, Morocco announced it would bid in competition with the United Bid Committee of the USA, Canada, Mexico.

Morocco was the only country from Africa that expressed some interest. Its interest had stalled when FIFA refused to allow a joint bid with Spain and/or Portugal. No countries from South America or Oceania have expressed interest in bidding in 2026.

United Bid Committee chairman Sunil Gulati“We’ve always been prepared for the fact that other countries could also decide to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Competition is good.”

Key dates:
Aug. 11, 2017. Deadline for bidding nations to express their interest about individual or joint bids.
March 16, 2018. Bids must be submitted to meet FIFA's technical specifications. If no bid meets FIFA's terms, the 2026 hosting race will be opened up to all members (including Europe and Asia).
June 13, 2018. If the North America bid passes FIFA's technical requirements, it will be presented to the FIFA Congress in Moscow. Unlike other World Cup bid campaigns that went to the FIFA executive committee (since replaced by the FIFA council), the 2026 World Cup hosting rights will be voted upon by full membership of 211 federations.

Next steps:
-- Bidding registration documents issued for bidders to fill in;
-- Bidding documents issued so bidder can begin their preparations;
-- Bidder submit their bid book to FIFA by March 2018;
-- Evaluation process carried out by FIFA and report made;
-- Based on the reports, the FIFA Council will designate the bids to be submitted to the FIFA Congress for a final decision.

3 comments about "Surprise: Morocco submits last-minute 2026 World Cup bid".
  1. Mike Polonski, August 11, 2017 at 1:18 p.m.

    This question may have an obvious answer but will all three nations get automatic berths to the World Cup that year?

  2. Ric Fonseca, August 11, 2017 at 1:29 p.m.

    That seems to be the obvious answer, didn't South Korea/Japan go through the same process?

  3. Nick Daverese, August 12, 2017 at 7:58 a.m.

    Too me that would help Canada more then the US or Mexico. Question might be does the Morocco bid kill our chances of getting the tournament?

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