The proposed joint bid to have the USA, Canada, and Mexico host the 2026 FIFA World Cup got a boost today as FIFA announced it will be opening the bidding process early to give them more time to organise their proposals. This now means any country with an interest in hosting the World Cup must express an interest by August 11th, 2017 and submit their bid by March 2018 which will then be voted on the following June. FIFA has already said that European and Asian nations will not be allowed to host meaning that only Oceanic, African, and South American countries will be able to submit bids. However, the South American Federation has already expressed its support for the North American bid whilst South Africa hosted the tournament in 2010 making an African nation less likely to win another World Cup soon. As Australia are the only nation big enough to host the competition in Oceania, they are the only country that could potentially upset the North American’s campaign. With the tournament increasing to 48 teams and Mexico and the USA having hosted the competition in the past there will be no fears that the larger influx of fans will be an issue for the countries. From an economical point of view FIFA will also be keen to promote football in the USA with the growth of the MLS and attract more interest from Canada, although the same could be said for Australia.
August 11 was the deadline for any competing bids to arrive at FIFA for 2026 World Cup hosting rights, and one country has decided to throw their hat in the ring against a unified North America.
Early on Friday morning, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation officially submitted their bid to FIFA in competition with the joint U.S.-Canada-Mexico bid for the 2026 World Cup. While no details were included in the public announcement, the north African country will attempt to outbid the united North American front that appeared to be a heavy front-runner for the rights.
“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation officially launched on Friday (August 11th, 2017) a bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The University has put the file of its nomination to the committees responsible in FIFA, in order to embrace global football,” the announcement read.
The Moroccan bid means that the U.S.-Canada-Mexico bid will face competition and won’t simply be handed the rights as they might’ve hoped. Though Morocco features a central location to all three of the European, African, and Asian football confederations, the joint-North American bid will likely remain favorites with superior current infrastructure and less overall preparation needed to host the event.
But even so, the bid will ultimately not be the walk-through that it appeared to be prior to Morocco’s announcement.
The world’s football governing body, FIFA, set the deadline of March 16, 2018, for accepting bids to host the global championship in 2026, a senior Russian football official told TASS on Friday. "All countries wishing to host the 2026 World Cup need to submit their bids before March 16, 2018," Alexei Sorokin, the CEO of the Russian Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018 and a member of the FIFA Council, said in an interview with TASS. "This is the deadline for applying the bids." The FIFA Council convened for a session on Friday in the Indian city of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) making a host of important decisions, including the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, which would see a new 48-team format. The previous FIFA World Cup was successfully hosted by Brazil in 2014, the next championship will be held in Russia and the following football flagship event in 2022 is scheduled to be held in Qatar. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first championship in the history of the event to be held in the 48-team format. Only two bids have been submitted so far and they come from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) and, a joint bid, from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The FIFA said in its official statement following the session in India that "ratified the decision of the Bureau of the Council of 6 September 2017 to approve the enhanced Bidding Regulations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and appointed the members of the Bid Evaluation Task Force."
"According to the Bidding Regulations, the Task Force must be composed of the chairpersons of the Audit and Compliance Committee and the Governance Committee - in this case, Tomaz Vesel and Mukul Mudgal respectively - as well as a member of the Organizing Committee for Competitions (Ilco Gjorgioski was appointed), together with experts from the administration: Deputy Secretaries General Zvonimir Boban (football) and Marco Villiger (administration)," the styatement from FIFA said.
FIFA takes an important step in its efforts to conduct a transparent bidding process for the 2026 World Cup.
FIFA Council approved the bidding reforms on Oct. 27 (FIFA)
World football’s governing body published a bidding process guide on Tuesday, following the approval late last month of the bidding regulations for selecting a host for 2026. The 2026 edition will be the first World Cup to feature an expanded tournament with 48 teams.
The guide outlines key elements of the reforms approved by the FIFA Council, as well as “the assessment mechanisms in place, recommendations on the protection of the process’ integrity, the timeline for the selection of the host(s), the specific requirements for hosting, a detailed explanation of the government guarantees, as well as the principles of sustainable event management and human rights protection.”
There are two bids for hosting the 2026 World Cup. A joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada is competing against Morocco.
The bids have until the end of November to submit a completed bidding agreement to FIFA. The deadline for the submission of bids is March 16, 2018. The FIFA Council will shortlist the bids just ahead of the 68th FIFA Congress, selecting the winner on June 13, 2018.
Though it seems unneeded given the strength of the North American bid, FIFA has set up a process to be followed if neither of the candidates is awarded the right to host in June. In fact, the backup plan would take effect earlier should there be no bids submitted in March. Under this plan, the host for 2026 would be chosen by the 70th FIFA Congress in May 2020