Morocco Yet To Provide Extensive Details On '26 World Cup Bid As Selection Date Looms
In contrast to the joint bid of the U.S., Mexico and Canada for the '26 FIFA World Cup, Moroccan soccer officials have "provided scant detail about how they propose to stage the world’s biggest sporting event," according to Tariq Panja of the NY. TIMES. With five months to go before FIFA selects the '26 host, Morocco "only last week named" the country's Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy chair of its bid committee. It also does not "have a website." Moroccan officials are "privately playing down doubts about their bid" and insist they "have the resources to host the event." Officials said that the effort "soon will have greater visibility," but little about the plans has been "revealed publicly." However, the nature of the vote "means Morocco could prove a tougher than expected opponent." For the first time, FIFA has "changed its rules to place the selection of the host nation in the hands of its full membership, a privilege that until now had been reserved for what had been a 24-member executive board." Morocco’s best hope may be an "unlikely boost from President Trump," who was recently "said to have disparaged immigrants from Nigeria and other poor countries." Comoros Soccer Federation President Hassan Waberi said of Trump's reported comments, “We feel insulted and not happy. Of course it’s not good for the Americans.” Morocco’s plan for the World Cup will "include the construction of several new stadiums that can be reduced in size after the tournament" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/17).