By Karen Duarte
By Karen Duarte
Morocco lost today’s vote on the 2026 World Cup host at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow to a joint bid from the United States, Canada, and Mexico with 65 votes to 134.
The African country had plans to build new transport infrastructure, many hotels, hospitals, and other leisure facilities.
In addition, it outlined a proposal to greatly increase its number of football stadiums, pledging to build nine new arenas and rebuild three others.
Despite the defeat, bid chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy said in a statement, “Morocco is proud to have led a campaign that was committed, ethical and totally in keeping to the rules imposed by FIFA.”
“Under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty The King, the Kingdom of Morocco is determined to continue on its current trajectory. The projects that we have presented in the Bid Book will be realised. We managed this Bid with a sporting spirit and we will continue our path in the same vein.”
The president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), Fouzi Lekjaa, stated, “Morocco is pleased to have presented a solid bid where football is at the centre of an authentic, profitable FIFA World Cup with a strong legacy.”
He congratulated his rivals, saying “On behalf of the FRMF I wish to congratulate my colleagues, the presidents of the USA, Mexico, and Canada Football Associations, and I wish them all the best in organizing the FIFA World Cup and furthering the path of development of football.
“I also wish to congratulate FIFA for the conduct of this bid process and FIFA president Gianni Infantino for all that has been done to make things move towards more transparency and inclusion and I want to reaffirm the commitment of my country to continue to work for football.”