Lausanne (AFP) – Hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup are set to be revealed on June 13, FIFA said Monday as it published bids from Morocco and a joint one from the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The decision will be announced at a FIFA meeting in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup being held in Russia.
The bidding process for Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 came under intense scrutiny, causing widespread upheaval at FIFA, but the body insists its process is beyond reproach.
“I challenge anyone to point out an organisation that conducts a bidding process as fair, objective and transparent as the one that FIFA is carrying out for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement on Monday.
North Africa’s Morocco has pre-selected 12 cities and 14 stadiums with Casablanca, the economic hub, and Marrakesh, its tourist capital, each having two stadiums, while the others will be spread around the country, the largest in Tangiers boasting a 93,000-seat capacity.
A statement from the front-running United States-Canada-Mexico bid for the expanded 48-team tournament said FIFA will select up to 16 host cities from what it described as ’23 existing world-class stadiums, 150 existing elite training facilities, and our modern and interconnected transportation network’.
FIFA’s bid evaluation task force will visit the candidates, and following their assessment, announce the hosts at the 68th FIFA Congress, which will convene in Moscow on 13 June.
“Every single step is documented and open to the public: from the submission of the bid books through each round of assessment to the decision-making process,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
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