Fifa inspectors have awarded the US, Canada and Mexicos 2026 World Cup bid a significantly higher score than high risk Morocco in a report
Fifa inspectors have awarded North America's 2026 World Cup bid a significantly higher score than Morocco in an assessment report, and have warned voters that the North African nation's bid is high risk due to a lack of infrastructure.
Up to 207 national associations will choose between the two bids in a public vote on 13 June that contrasts with the secrecy surrounding previous tainted World Cup decisions.
The report puts pressure on the Fifa congress to follow the verdicts from inspectors, who marked the joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico at 402 out of 500 and flagged Morocco's proposals on stadiums, accommodation and transport as high risks in a score of 275.
The five-person Fifa-appointed task force said it” considers it its duty to emphasise the significant overall hazard” of a country needing to build so many key assets, concluding that the bids are at” nearly opposite objectives of the spectrum “.
The 2026 World Cup is the first tournament Fifa has confirmed will expand from 32 to 48 squads– putting increasing demands on the stadia and facilities required to stage 80 games.
” The sum of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated ,” the bid evaluation task force said.
No part of North America's proposals were labelled high risk and Fifa said it” has a clear result” to advance the governing body's mission to” push new bounds in terms of sports-related technology and participation” since stadiums and hotels already exist.
The US, which hosted the 1994 World Cup, would host 60 games in 2026, including everything from the quarter-final stage. Mexico, the sole host in 1970 and 1986, would have 10 games, along with Canada.
The North American bid scored the only maximum mark of five from Fifa for its ticketing and hospitality plans, which helped drive a forecast revenue for the tournament of $14.3 billion, “significantly higher” than Morocco's $7.2 billion.
The lowest mark out of five for either bid in each of the nine categories was 2.0, for North America's projected organisation expenses- driven up by having 16 stadia instead of the minimum 12. Morocco had three high-risk sections and 10 marked as medium danger- including human rights and labour standards.
While Morocco has said it needs to spend nearly $16 billion on infrastructure for the tournament, including house or renovating all 14 stadia, renovation is required at only six North American venues.
” Accommodation was assessed as being the largest challenge facing the Morocco 2026 bid ,” the bid evaluation report said.” Only two of the 14 proposed stadia would have sufficient levels of general accommodation to meet the minimum requirements .”
The Fifa evaluation also confirmed reports in April that Morocco did not declare its anti-LGBT statute to the governing body in the human rights risk assessment included with the bid.
The North American campaign has been dogged by questions on the impact of policies from the Trump administration, including attempts to implement a traveling prohibition on residents of six majority-Muslim countries. The US bid team have offered fresh guarantees to Fifa that there will be no discrimination around entry for the tournament.
In appeals for elections last month, President Donald Trump said he would be” watching very closely” and issued a veiled menace to withhold supporting from countries resisting the North American bid.
Fifa ordered more stringent inspections after criticism of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes in 2010, when Russia and Qatar won despite being judged the riskiest by a task force. Morocco could have been disqualified if it had scored less than two out of five in the overall average scoring.
The Fifa council has to approve both candidates at a meeting in Moscow on 10 June, before the final referendum at the Fifa congress on the eve of the 2018 tournament.
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