Rachid Alioui of Morocco celebrates goal with teammates during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Ivory Coast at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Monday Apr 03, 2017. 18:00
Although they have good infrastructure to organise a FIFA World Cup, Morocco's dream to host the 2026 edition could fail.
According to reports, any attempt by the North African country to link up with Spain and Portugal for the 2016 showpiece seems destined to fall foul of FIFA’s strict hosting regulations.
According to a report carried by the InsideWorldFootball website, speculation has been rife that Morocco, which has failed four times to try and land the tournament, is preparing to launch a challenge to CONCACAF in partnership with the Iberian neighbours, who themselves failed to land 2018.
Morocco failed in 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010, losing out to the United States, France, Germany, and South Africa respectively.
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This means there has been no other nation that has launched as many bids without ever winning the hosting rights in the history of FIFA.
On the other hand, new CAF president Ahmad Ahmad announced his backing for the Moroccans for what will be the first World Cup to feature 48 teams.
Their hopes have been boosted by FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s endorsement, saying Morocco has the ‘infrastructure and organisational capacity’ to host the tournament.
However, with whom? Under FIFA rules, the two previous host confederations, in this case Europe in 2018 and Asia in 2022, are barred from bidding for 2026.
The report indicates that Last October, the FIFA Council agreed to the “general principle that member associations from confederations of the last two hosts of the FIFA World Cup will be ineligible to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
Only “in the event that none of the received bids fulfil the strict technical and financial requirements” would Europe be allowed to bid, according to FIFA rules and that seems unlikely if the United States goes ahead, either with Mexico or Canada, or both.