Morocco Competes to Host FIFA World Cup 2026

Morocco Competes to Host FIFA World Cup 2026

Engin OZER Engin OZER
25/03/2018
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25.03.2018 - Rabat / On June 13th, the name of the host country(s) of the 2026 World Cup will be announced by the International Football Association FIFA. Morocco’s candidacy for the organisation of the 2026 World Cup was officially presented in March. All of the Kingdom has mobilised to make this dream come true. Indeed, for this North African country of 35 million inhabitants, this is the fifth attempt to win the organisation of a World Cup. After the failed attempts of 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, Morocco hopes to become the second African nation to host this championship.

 Morocco’s bid goes up against Mexico, the United States and Canada. It will require a lot of work to convince the 207 international federations to vote in favour of their bid for 2026. However, unlike previous attempts, Morocco will do everything to avoid repeating the same mistakes that prevented it from hosting past events.

 Despite the stiff competition, Morocco’s bid has several strengths, and this time more than any other time before, the Moroccan effort is a strong one and has all the characteristics to bring the World cup event back to Africa in 2026.

 « Co-Hosting was rejected by FIFA after 2002 (also applied in 2010 and 2018). And now: Morocco would be the logical host! And it is time for Africa again! » said former FIFA president Joseph Blatter.Moroccan authorities believe that the Moroccan bid remains a strong project thanks to the geographical position of the kingdom, in the heart of the world map. Its security compared to the countries of the region, and the accumulated experience in the organisation of international competitions goes to prove they are ready.

 The bid for 2026 is not only the bid of Morocco but all of Africa. Morocco has returned to the fore with the change of presidency at the head of the Moroccan Federation of football. President Faouzi Lekjaa is very close to the new CAF president, the Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad. The latter is eager to put Africa at the top of the world football poster; he sees in Morocco the perfect ambassador.

 "So many African stars will be the ambassadors of the Moroccan bid, including Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba,” notably announced President Faouzi Lekjaa.Morocco knows its strengths. It is, in essence, a country that knows how to welcome others: "Morocco is 14 kilometres from Europe and the time zone plays in their favour. Football fans will discover a country that is tolerant, authentic, and passionate about football”, says Moulay Hafid Elalamy, president of the organising committee.

 "From 1930 to 2030, the African continent organised the World Cup only once. It must not remain in the margin,” said Lekjaa, referring to a single bid in a manageable territory in contrast to the three countries involved in the other project.European, Asian and African countries will be able to watch four matches a day if Morocco organises the World Cup, which constitutes more than 50% of TV rights revenues.The president of the bid committee of Morocco for the organisation of the World Cup 2026 football, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, explained in a meeting in Casablanca, that the Kingdom is "a country that respects the rules of the game” and that will lead his campaign "according to the rules ".

 Morocco is working on the expansion and renovation of five stadiums located in Marrakech, Agadir, Fez, Tangier and Rabat, in addition to the construction four new stadiums: two in Casablanca, Oujda and Tetouan. There will also be five modular stadiums to be built in Ouarzazate, Meknes, El Jadida, Nador and Marrakech II. All comply with FIFA’s requirements.

 Besides, Moroccan authorities have announced the construction of 21 hospitals to international standards and 130 training sites, as well as « the creation of 110 thousand jobs », added Mr Elalamy. The choice of cities, all located less than 550 kilometres from Casablanca and ideally connected regarding transport.Fans from all over the world will discover a country that breathes football since Moroccans are crazy about the game. Moroccan officials are sure that the popularity of football along with the political stability, will make a difference.

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