By Marius Bordat
Rabat – On June 13, FIFA will announce the host country for the 23rd men’s World Cup to be held in 2026. Only two hosts are under consideration to organize the biggest soccer competition in the world, one of which is United 2026, a bid by Canada, Mexico, and United States. The other candidate is Morocco.
As a French-American born in Morocco and an avid soccer fan and player, I, along with my friends, will be 24 years old in 2026. We are eagerly awaiting FIFA’s upcoming decision and hope it will be favorable to Morocco, for many reasons.
We think that Morocco should finally be given the opportunity to organize the World Cup, after four previous disappointing, unsuccessful attempts in 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010.
In contrast, as Mehdi, aged 16, pointed out, the United States has already organized the World Cup once in 1994, and Mexico has been the host country twice, in 1970 and 1986. It is more than time for Morocco to be given its chance.
Second, in Morocco soccer is very popular, and emotional attachments to the sport prevail over economic motivations. Across the country, soccer can be and is played everywhere, on beaches, on empty rural fields in the countryside, and in city streets.
“Americans tend to organize these competitions with a lucrative purpose,” said Yassine, age 16. “Whereas in Morocco the passion of soccer is more important than making profits.”
Another point that FIFA should take into account is that when a country hosts the World Cup they are automatically qualified. The problem with the United 2026 candidacy is that there are three countries in the same bid. If all three of them get to participate, that will remove two available spots for the World Cup from other countries.
Certain critics have expressed their concern that the infrastructure in Morocco is not yet prepared to host the World Cup. “Morocco has already hosted many international sporting events and music festivals,” responds Yassine.
If Morocco is lucky enough to be chosen by FIFA, it will be a welcome opportunity for the economic development of the country. Infrastructure and transport will improve in preparation for the World Cup and in anticipation of the tourists that will come to Morocco to support their national teams.
Additionally, as Sofia, aged 16, points out, “one advantage of the Moroccan bid is its geography and the proximity between cities. Spectators can travel from one site to another more easily in Morocco than they can across Canada, Mexico, and the United States.” In contrast, distances between stadiums are very far with the United bid.
Only wealthier soccer fans would be able to afford the plane tickets across the North American continent to follow their national team. A Morocco-hosted World Cup would open up the games to people from other socio-economic classes.
Morocco has proposed 12 cities to host the 2026 World Cup. Given the diversity of the sites, combining the ocean, the sea, the mountains, and the desert, Morocco’s bid actually contains numerous countries in one.
Given its unique geographic position at the crossroads between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Morocco is the ideal country to host a World Cup that would unite all civilizations.
If Morocco wins the bid, my friends and I, as well as youth across Morocco, will feel a sense of joy and pride. Choosing Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup will be a vote for fairness, for soccer passion, and for hope for the future.