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03 .FIFA World Cup - Bids 12 (Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid)

03 .FIFA World Cup - Bids 12 (Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid)

Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid

Morocco 2026
Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid.png
The Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid is Morocco's bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It is competing with the Canada–Mexico–United States 2026 FIFA World Cup bid for hosting rights. On 11 August 2017, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced that it would submit a bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Background

The 2026 bid is Morocco's fifth bid to host the FIFA World Cup after unsuccessful attempts in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 lost out to the United States, France, Germany and South Africa. If successful, it will be the second African country, after the 2010 tournament in South Africa, as well as the second Arab and Muslim country after the 2022 tournament in Qatar, also the first time in North Africa.

Bid process

Bidding for the 2026 FIFA World Cup was postponed due to the 2015 FIFA corruption case and the subsequent resignation of Sepp Blatter, then it was restarted following the FIFA Council meeting on 10 May 2016, wherein the bidding process will consist of four phases:

  • May 2016 – May 2017: a new strategy and consultation phase
  • June 2017 – Dec 2017: enhanced phases for bid preparation
  • March 2018 – June 2018: bid evaluation
  • June 2018: final decision

With no rival bid having emerged since April 2017 the CONCACAF member federations of Canada, Mexico and the United States sent a joint request to FIFA to hasten the bid process. Canada, Mexico and the United States wanted FIFA to award the bid outside the traditional bidding process at the June 2018 FIFA Congress in Moscow if the CONCACAF-bid meets FIFA requirements.

However the FIFA Council decided on 8 May 2017 that FIFA would have a full bidding procedure. To ensure continental rotation of hosting duties, only the member associations of CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and the OFC were invited, as these continental confederations had not hosted the two previous World Cups.A date of 11 August 2017 was set for submission of an intention to bid, and on that day, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced that it would submit a bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In March 2018, the Morocco 2026 bid committee stated they plan to spend $16 billion on preparing for the tournament, including building new transportation infrastructure, 21 new hospitals, a large number of new hotels and leisure facilities and building and/or renovating new stadiums.

FIFA Football tournament hosting experiences

Morocco have previously hosted a number of international football events.

  • 1988 Africa Cup of Nations
  • 1997 African Youth Championship
  • 2011 CAF U-23 Championship
  • 2013 African U-17 Championship
  • 2013 FIFA Club World Cup
  • 2014 FIFA Club World Cup
  • 2018 African Nations Championship

Bid committee

 
Moulay Hafid Elalamy in March 2014

On 10 January 2018, the King Mohammed VI appointed Moulay Hafid Elalamy as Chairman of the bid committee.

Two days later the London-based agency VERO Communications was appointed as Lead Communications and Strategy Consultants of the Moroccan bid.

  • Transportation infrastructure: new rail connections, new roads as well as highways and new aeroports or terminals.
  • The healthcare system: about 21 new hospitals.
  • The tourism industry: a large number of new hotels and leisure facilities.
  • Sports infrastructure: about 130 football or soccer stadiums will be built or renovated (Morocco currently has 38 stadiums with 10,000 or more capacity)

Bid venues

Stadiums must be able to accommodate a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) hospitality village no more than 150 metres from the stadium. They must also have a capacity of at least 40,000 for group and second round matches and 60,000 for semi-finals and 80,000 for the final. On 22 August 2017, Morocco established a list of stadia for its bid.

Casablanca Marrakech
Grand Stade de Casablanca
(planned)
New Stadium
(planned)
Stade de Marrakech New Modular Stadium
(planned)
Capacity: 93,000 Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 45,250
Capacity for WC: 69,565
Capacity: 46,000
Opening and Final matches Round of 16 Semi-final and 3rd place matches Round of 16
Grand Stade Casablanca Concours.jpg Grand Stade de Marrakech.jpg Stade de marrakech.jpg  
Rabat Agadir Tangier Fez
Stade Moulay Abdellah Stade Adrar Stade Ibn Batouta Fez Stadium
Capacity: 52,000 Capacity: 46,048 Capacity: 44,500
Expanding to 65,000
Current capacity 45,000
New capacity: 46,092
Quarter-final Quarter-final Quarter-final Quarter-final
CSPMA.jpg   Panoramica dello Stadio di tangeri.jpg User created page with UploadWizard.jpg
Oujda
Morocco 2026 FIFA World Cup bid is located in Morocco
Casablanca
Casablanca
Rabat
Rabat
Agadir
Agadir
Marrakech
Marrakech
Fez
Fez
Tangier
Tangier
Tétouan
Tétouan
Oujda
Oujda
Meknes
Meknes
El Jadida
El Jadida
Nador
Nador
Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate
Tetouan
Grand Stade d'Oujda
(Ongoing construction start)
Grand Stade de Tetouan
(under construction)
Capacity: 45,600 Capacity: 45,600
Round of 16 Round of 16
Stade Oujda.jpg  
Meknes Nador El Jadida Ouarzazate
Grand stade de Meknès
(New Modular Stadium)
(planned)
New Modular Stadium
(planned)
New Modular Stadium
(planned)
New Modular Stadium
(planned)
Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 46,000 Capacity: 46,000
Round of 16 Round of 16 Round of 16 Round of 16

Transportation infrastructure

Urban public transportation system

  • Taxi: all the proposed cities have their own Taxi fleet.
  • Bus: all the proposed cities have their own bus system for the urban public transportation.
  • Tram:
    • Existing and under extensionexpansion: Rabat/Salé, Casablanca
    • Planned: Tanger, Marrakech, Fes, Agadir
  • Metro:
    • Planned and temporarily abandoned: Casablanca
  • Regional Express Network (RER):
    • Existing and under extensionexpansion: Rabat/Salé, Casablanca

Highways and roads

The Moroccan highway network connects most large cities in the country, being part of the transportation infrastructure in Morocco.

Rail network and rail transport

Additionally the rail network connects all the proposed venues except Tetouan, Ouarzazate and Agadir. But nevertheless there exists planned and scheduled projects to connect Agadir to the moroccan high speed network (TGV) via Marrakech, and to connect Tetouan to the classic rail network via Tangier.

Airports and air transport

All the selected cities (except El Jadida and Meknes) have their own airports; see list of airports in Morocco. The Mohamed V International Airport in Casablanca is the main international gateway into Morocco.

Support

Football confederations

  • CAF

FIFA members

  • Algeria Algeria
  • Angola Angola[
  • Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda
  • Botswana Botswana
  • Cameroon Cameroon
  • Dominica Dominica
  • Egypt Egypt
  • France France
  • The Gambia Gambia
  • Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya Kenya
  • Lebanon Lebanon
  • Liberia Liberia
  • Luxembourg Luxembourg
  • Myanmar Myanmar
  • Nigeria Nigeria
  • State of Palestine Palestine
  • Qatar Qatar
  • Russia Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
  • Senegal Senegal
  • Serbia Serbia
  • Tunisia Tunisia
  • Uganda Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

Public Opinion

The bid committee shows that 97% of Moroccans are in favour of the World Cup including strongly 81%, 93% of Moroccans think the event will have a positive impact on economy and employment, 91% of Moroccans think the event will have a positive impact on sports participation and 84% of Moroccans are interested in playing football.

Government Support

The Moroccan government has stated it fully supports Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Marketing

The logo was unveiled on 23 January 2018, the logo is inspired by the pentagram found on the Moroccan flag. The pentagram is surrounded by seven red leaves and kicking a football.

The slogan for the bid "Together for One Goal" (Arabic: "معا لهدف واحد"), (French: "Ensemble pour le même but"), was launched on 17 March 2018.

Opinions

FIFA officials

In 2016, FIFA President Gianni Infantino considered that Morocco is "capable, in terms of infrastructure and organisation, of hosting a World Cup".

Concerns, Criticism & Controversy

Integrity

In Morocco's previous World Cup bids, it was discovered that in two of those instances, the country tried to bribe voting officials. FIFA issued an integrity warning to the Moroccan bid in January 2018. The general secetary of FIFA Fatma Samoura warned votes in a letter, "not to accept any technical or development support which may unduly affect the integrity of the bidding procedure". Moroccan bid officials had one point discussed a formal relationship with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which would allow for training camps and other development activities for countries on the continent.

Readiness

FIFA had to make a second unscheduled visit to Morocco, after the governing body was not satisfied with the requirements presented in the bid book as deficiencies were discovered, unlike the North American bid. Morocco's bid leader "acknowledged it had to improve the quality of the submission made to FIFA in March [2018] because inadequacies were identified" (by FIFA).When the bid was announced, only a two sentence statement was announced announcing the country's entrance into the competition. With less than six months remaining, Morocco named a chairman for its bid committee and did not have a logo or a website. This was in contrast with the North American bid, which was well ahead in planning at that point.

White elephants

FIFA has criticised the bid for building a lot of white elephant stadiums (compared with the North American bid, which has all its stadiums built). This was done after Morocco complained of the bid process. FIFA replied, "In order to avoid unsustainable bids ... with the creation of 'white elephants' — something FIFA has been heavily criticized for in the past — the scoring system evaluates with objective criteria how meaningful and sustainable is the infrastructure presented in the bids". Morocco is expected to spend $16 billion dollars if its successful, in tournament infrastructure, while the other bid from North America will not need any tournament specific infrastructure built. This has put much more risk on FIFA if it selects the Moroccan bid. The Moroccan bid committee accepts the fact that it could not host the event tomorrow, but the North American bid could.

LGBT rights

Morocco did not mention that homosexuality is illegal in the country in its bid book. There was also no attempt how this would be mitigated (for LGBT athletes and fans) if the country was given the right to host the World Cup. FIFA's guidelines for World Cup hosts explicity mentions that, "host countries must guarantee there is no discrimination of any nature”. Ahmed El Haij, president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, told the Associated Press, "it is evident that if Morocco was to host the World Cup, LGBT people coming to watch the games will face a lot of discrimination. The state will not be able to protect them nor will it be able to commit in preventing measures that could be taken against them by both the state and society".

Revenue projections

The Morocco bid projects a revenue of just $785 million dollars, which is less than half of what the North American bid projects (at $1.8 billion). This is the primary reason that FIFA president Gianni Infantino is thought to prefer the North American bid.

Fan behaviour/vandalism

In its bid book, Morocco acknowledges issues with "ultra" fans, which are also known as violent supporters. This was highlighted in February 2018, when 65 people were arrested and vandalism was caused at a stadium in Marrakesh. In contrast, the North American bid has had no violence reported in any international matches across all three countries.

Quality of stadiums/training grounds

FIFA's bid evaluation committee expressed concerns over the quality of stadiums proposed by the Moroccan bid. The committee, "‘noticed some deviations from the initial planned program" [in relations to the stadiums proposed]. Concerns were also raised over the quality of training grounds proposed. The president of the bid, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, mentioned that there was a need to "improve the quality of our bid book". The Moroccan stadiums need extensive modernization to match the stadiums proposed by the North American bid.

Hotel capacity

FIFA has expressed concerns over Morocco's hotel capacity. The country is expected to invest $3.2 billion dollars in hotel capacity in the lead up to 2026, if successful in the bid. The evaluation committee had multiple questions in regards to the capacity of the accommodation proposed.

 

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