By Liam Morgan |
FIFA will reveal whether the Moroccan and joint North American bids for the 2026 World Cup have progressed to the voting stage just over two weeks before it takes place at the Congress in Moscow, it has been announced.
Morocco 2026 and United 2026 are set to learn their fate when the Evaluation Task Force, which has assessed both bids for the tournament, delivers its verdict on May 29.
The Congress is scheduled for June 13, the day before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia in Moscow.
“The Task Force charged by FIFA to evaluate both the North American and Moroccan 2026 FIFA World Cup bids will make its verdict on the eligibility of both files to progress to FIFA Congress on 29 May,” Morocco 2026 said on Twitter.
The Task Force has inspected the two candidacies for the World Cup and has the power to exclude either bid if they do not meet their requirements.
A second visit had to be conducted to Morocco as the inspectors “noticed some deviations from the initial planned program” during the first trip to the African country.
Another inspection of the joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico was not deemed necessary and the United 2026 effort remains the favorite at this stage.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is thought to prefer the combined North American candidacy, largely due to the amount of money a World Cup in the region could generate.
United 2026 recently claimed a North American 2026 World Cup would produce profits of “nearly $11 billion” for FIFA.
Infantino has also been accused of trying to undermine Morocco 2026 by asking the Task Force to deliberately find fault with the African bid.
Officials from Morocco 2026 have repeatedly clashed with FIFA in recent months following claims world football’s governing body changed the scoring system just 24 hours before the African nation submitted their bid in an attempt to hamper their efforts.
Morocco’s bid was also at the center of an ethics investigation into FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, over an alleged undeclared family link with former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf.
Samoura was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing after the claim she is related to Diouf, a Morocco 2026 ambassador.
The latest row saw FIFA turn down a request from Morocco that four countries governed by the US – American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – be prevented from casting a vote.
The main issue for the United 2026 bid so far has been the recent interventions from US President Donald Trump, who ignored a warning from FIFA regarding political interference in the race.
Trump called on African countries to support the joint North American bid and had earlier warned nations not to lobby against United 2026.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.