Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup has been passed by FIFA and will be allowed to proceed to a vote runoff against the North American bid on June 13.
“The Moroccan bid has been accepted,” Moncef Belkhayat, a former sports minister who sits on the committee, is quoted saying after the bid passed further scrutiny from football’s world governing body.
“The ‘Task Force’ has today confirmed Morocco’s technical ability to organise the 2026 World Cup. All of our team will continue to work towards victory on June 13 in Moscow,” Belkhayat said.
The vote will be held at the FIFA Congress on the eve of the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Moroccan media had reported rumours that FIFA was set to disallow the North African nation’s bid for reasons including logistical problems in the country’s five main cities.
The bid relies heavily on Morocco’s passion for football, its relatively compact size, its climate and proximity to Europe and it has support across the African continent, which has only hosted the World Cup once before, in South Africa in 2010.