The 2026 FIFA World Cup hosts up for decision
Syria Draw with Iran in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Match. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
12.06.2018By Luca Arfini
On 10 June 2018, the FIFA Council designated the two bids that will be on vote for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. From one side, the joint submission of the Canadian Soccer Association, the Mexican Football Association and the United States Soccer Federation, the ‘United bid’. From the other side, the submission from the Moroccan Football Association.
The final choice will be made this Wednesday at the 68th FIFA Congress held in Moscow, Russia. The voting nations are all the FIFA members except the bidding countries, which means there are 207 federations voting. In accordance with the FIFA rules, the voting procedure, since the proposed bids are fewer than three, should be simple majority (more than 50%) that corresponds to 104 votes. Therefore, the proposal that receives a simple majority in the first ballot will be awarded the 2026 World Cup.
The American bid appears to be on the lead. According to FIFA’s Bid Evaluation Report, the United bid’s overall technical score is much higher than the one of Morocco. While the US-Canada-Mexico bid received four out of possible five points, the Morocco bid got only 2.7 points.
“The Morocco 2026 bid is well presented and strong in terms of government commitment, but would need to newly build most of its tournament-related and wider infrastructure. The United 2026 bid, on the other hand, has promising levels of infrastructure already in place and fully-operational,” says the Bid Evaluation Report.
While the United bid is currently leading in the polls, the Moroccan bid could still surprise. According to The New York Times, Morocco has the support of most of Africa´s 54 states and of many European countries. However, some African states refused to support Morocco´s bid or are still uncertain about it.
For instance South Africa, whose minister of Sport and Recreation Xasa openly stated “We are very clear that we can’t support Morocco”. The two countries have always had difficult relations since 2004, when Morocco withdrew its ambassador from Pretoria due to South Africa’s decision of recognizing the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
If Morocco wins, it will be the second African country, after South Africa in 2014, to host football’s global event. The last time the US hosted the FIFA World Cup was in 1994.
The voting will take place at the end of tomorrow’s meeting, which will start at 9 am Moscow time (8 am CET) and will be live streamed on FIFA.com.