World Cup 2026 bid: FIFA inspectors headed to Atlanta and New York area

A five-man FIFA task force is headed next week to North America, where it will make stops in Mexico City, Atlanta, Toronto and the New York/New Jersey area as part of its evaluation of the United 2026 World Cup bid.

Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has been identified as a possible venue for the 2026 World Cup while Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of Atlanta United, is a candidate to host one of the semifinals.

The work of the task force has come under fire from Morocco as its task will be to evaluate and score the bids of United 2026 (USA, Canada and Mexico) and Morocco. A low score could disqualify a bid without the vote of the FIFA Congress on June 13.

The 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force consists of five members:

Zvonimir Boban (Croatia), deputy general secretary (football)
Marco Villiger (Switzerland), deputy general secretary (administration)
Tomaz Vesel (Slovenia), audit committee chairman
Mukul Mudgal (India), governance committee chairman
Ilco Gjorgioski (Macedonia), committee for organizing competitions

The following are the dates and cities the task force will visit:

United 2016.
Mexico City: April 9-10
Atlanta: April 10-11
Toronto: April 11-12
New York/New Jersey: April 12-13

Marrakesh: April 16-17
Agadir: April 17-18
Tangiers: April 18-19
Casablanca: April 19

In a statement, FIFA noted that the "main objective of the trips, which will comprise visits to specific locations as well as working meetings with the bid committees, will be to clarify certain technical aspects contained in the respective bid books. The visits to the member associations represent only one part of the overall assessment process implemented by the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force."

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