In a publication published on Thursday under the title “Even before the process began it was biased,” the organization wrote that “the North American bid has taken a clear lead” in front of Morocco’s bid “for weighty financial and political reasons.”
Quoting an expert in international football, the publication’s author, Steve Menary, said that FIFA has been biased before concerning the selection process for the 2026 World Cup.
“Expanding the World Cup to 48 teams was another bias and a way to make sure that no-one else could bid but North America.”
The publication continued, “To avoid the bid-rigging that dogged previous World Cups, FIFA is also allowing all of its members to vote on the 2026 World Cup rather than the executive committee.”
However, the majority of the members who are set to vote during the World Cup selection process supported FIFA’s President during the 2016 FIFA leadership election, “because the Swiss football political proposed increasing the $1 million paid every four years through the Financial Assistance Programme to $5 million.”
World Cup is a significant source of income for FIFA, from ticket sales to TV revenues.
FIFA has likely determined that the North American bid will help the governing body increase its earnings if the American bid wins the right to host the 2026 World Cup.
However, the governing body sponsors were obliged to support Russia’s bid to host the 2018 tournament “due to years of corruption stories dogging the world body.”
The author of the publication emphasized that the North American bid chairman Sunil Gulati is taking advantage of the financial crisis that FIFA has been facing.
On January 29, the American news daily The New York Times quoted Gulati saying “FIFA’s finances are heavily, heavily dependent on one event, the men’s World Cup,” said Mr. Gulati, the chairman of the North American bid. “So there’s a direct line between funding for programs around the world and what happens at the World Cup, and the revenue that’s generated.”
The New York Times story added that the three-nation North American bid is forming a financial advantage due to a “broadcast agreement” signed in 2015 between FIFA and two American broadcasters: Fox and Telemundo.
In December 2017, Infantino expressed his support for the North American bid, saying that, “Joint biddings are certainly positive.” FIFA’s president also said at a conference in Dubai, “Let me say one more thing, to have Canada, U.S., and Mexico coming together for a joint project, already this is a positive message,” reported The New York Times last year.
Morocco Determined to Provide Tournament with All its needs
Strongly supported by the Moroccan Government, Morocco’s 2026 Bid Committee has long been showing its determination to present a credible and thorough submission file to FIFA on March 16 in order to prove that it is able to organize enormous events like the World Cup.
As only a few months remain before the mid-June decision of FIFA regarding the host of the tournament, the bid committee along with the Moroccan government and Morocco’s Royal Football Federation are giving their utmost to win the right to host the tournament.
During the public launch of Morocco’s bid on January 23 in Casablanca, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, chairman of Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid committee, said that the Moroccan filing “will be of big importance.” Referring to Morocco’s unsuccessful bids, the Minister of Trade and Investment said that “this is another Morocco, not that of the 2010 bid […] FIFA knows that when we launch [infrastructure] projects, we deliver.”
FIFA will choose the host country for the 2026 World Cup on the eve of the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia, which includes participation by Morocco’s national team.