The 2026 World Cup host race has a new candidate, Morocco. The Moroccan Football Federation has announced its bid for the 2026 edition of the World Cup. The 2026 World Cup is nine years away but the deadline for the countries interested in hosting the tournament is Friday.
Four months ago, the US, Canada and Mexico announced their plans for a joint bid. The last World Cup with more than one host was the 2002 edition, which was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. The US has hosted the World Cup once while Mexico has hosted the tournament twice. Canada has not hosted the tournament but was recently the host of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It is the fifth time that Morocco bids for a World Cup. Morocco has been the host of other football tournaments recently, including the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup. Morocco was also going to host the 2015 African Cup of Nations but they were banned and stripped of their hosting rights after requesting for the tournament to be postponed because of its fears over the Ebola outbreak. The World Cup has been hosted once in Africa (South Africa 2010). A report in 2015 revealed that Morocco won the bid to host the 2010 World Cup but that votes were deliberately miscounted.
The 2026 edition will be the first to see the changes approved by FIFA earlier this year. The big change is that the tournament will go from 32 teams to 48 teams. More teams will be able to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, which will have 16 groups of three teams, with the first two advancing to the next round. The 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar will continue with the same format of recent editions.
FIFA will make the decision for the 2026 World Cup host in 2020. Europe and Asia will not be able to bid for the 2026 edition since they are the next two hosts. The rotational hosting policy means four continents will be able to bid for the 2026 edition.