Chances of the United States, Mexico and Canada jointly hosting the 2026 World Cup are increasing after a FIFA evaluation report deemed Morocco's bid inferior to that of United 2026.
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According to the evaluation published Friday, Morocco only received 2.7 of the 5.0 maximum points available, while the trio of neighboring American nations was awarded 4.0.
"The Morocco 2026 bid and United 2026 bid represent two almost opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the nature of their bids," FIFA said. "The amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated."
The international football federation must approve the two prime candidates by June 10, when the council members will meet in Moscow and vote on the final, winning bid three days later.
Morocco's proximity to Europe was considered one of its most attractive features in the fight to host the 2026 World Cup championships, but location may not be enough to convince the 207 FIFA members.
When compared with the Americans' expensive stadiums, transport and attractive tourism destinations, the small African country may be hard pressed to make room for the 48 teams set to compete in the international event.
"Only two of the 14 proposed stadiums would have sufficient levels of general accommodation to meet the minimum requirements," the FIFA officials wrote of the Moroccan bid.
The estimated cost of the event is US$14.3 billion dollars, "significantly higher" than Morocco's US$7.2 billion infrastructure. Current human and labor rights, along with Morocco's anti-LGBT laws, were also rated negatively in the report.
Guillermo Cantu, secretary general of the Mexican Football Federation, said he believes the North American bid was a low-risk venture and the three countries are ecstatic about the results.
"We are very proud, calm in the sense of confirming that a responsible candidacy was what we wanted from the beginning. When we speak of unity, of all that would be involved in organizing a World Cup, we are on the right track, we are calm in this regard," Cantu said.