Morocco beat Friday's deadline in announcing it will "bid for the 2026 World Cup, providing a challenge to North American hopes of hosting" the tournament, according to Gerald Imray of the AP. A joint U.S.-Canada-Mexico bid launched in April, and the countries "hoped to be awarded the World Cup without facing a challenge." Europe and Asia "can't host the 2026 tournament" because Russia ('18) and Qatar ('22) have the next two World Cups (AP, 8/11). This is Morocco's "fifth bid" to hold the event. South Africa in '10 is the only African nation to host the World Cup (BBC.com, 8/11). In N.Y., Andrew Das notes the U.S.-led bid "remains an overwhelming favorite for the event ... because of North America’s surplus of stadiums, hotels, training facilities and infrastructure." It has the "support of the countries’ regional federation, Concacaf, and the FIFA confederation representing Oceania" (NYTIMES.com, 8/11). In DC, Matt Bonesteel noted Morocco's bid is a "long shot." The country "was scheduled to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but fears over the Ebola virus forced the tournament’s move to Equatorial Guinea." However, FIFA President Gianni Infantino earlier this year said that Morocco had the "'infrastructure and organizational capacity' to host the event" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/11).
Events and Attractions
Tennis Canada over the last decade has looked to make the ATP/WTA Rogers Cup "one of the most eco-responsible events" in the country, and the governing body "partnered with Recyc-Québec two years ago to help make things even more eco-friendly," according to Kevin Mio of the MONTREAL GAZETTE. The 200,000 spectators that will "make their way to Jarry Park throughout the 10-day event will generate about 70 tonnes of waste." There are "hundreds of clearly labelled waste bins" throughout the event site. Tennis Canada Coordinator of Sustainable Development Blandine Betton said that every day "two large bins are filled with compostable material -- food, plates, utensils, napkins, etc. -- and shipped offsite." On site, Recyc-Québec has a "crew of volunteers going around to help people recycle their water bottles and food scraps, and there’s a booth that explains what the uses are for recycled materials." Betton said that "even the tennis balls and the canisters they arrive in are recycled." The non-profit organization "buys carbon credits to offset the carbon pollution of flights for the athletes and staff." The Rogers Cup also "encourages the use of public transit -- each ticket sold includes a free round-trip STM fare -- and there is a secure parking lot on site for those who choose to bike to the event" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 8/9).