FIFA announced Sunday that it has whittled down the bids for the 2026 World Cup to two finalists, North America and Morocco.
FIFA hosted meeting number 7 of the FIFA Council this Sunday in Moscow as the organization gears up for this year’s competition in the Russian capital. FIFA’s strategic body decided on a number of important competition matters, including another step in the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup.
Following the publication of the bid evaluation report by the 2026 bid evaluation task force, which grades submitted bids for the competition for the consideration of the FIFA Congress, the Council designated the two bids – one jointly submitted by the Canadian Soccer Association, the Mexican Football Association and the United States Soccer Federation, the other submitted by the Moroccan Football Association – to be voted on by the 68th FIFA Congress.
On June 13, the FIFA Congress will determine whether to award the right to host the 2026 World Cup to one of the two candidates. In the event that the 68th FIFA Congress decides not to choose either of the candidates, FIFA will then launch a new procedure by inviting all member associations – except the four that are taking part in the current process – to submit a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. More details on Wednesday’s procedure are available here.
According to the bid evaluation report, the budget for the North American bid came in at US$2.16 billion, with a forecasted ticket revenue of US$1.8 billion and an overall revenue of US$14 billion. A total of 16 cities were proposed for the opening match, including Los Angeles, Mexico City and New York City/New Jersey.
The report also scored North America’s bid 4.0 out of five when it comes to infrastructure and commercial elements. Morocco scored 2.7.
According to the report, of the 80 matches to be played in the new format, ten would be played in Canada, ten in Mexico and the remaining 60 in the United States, and all of the countries have committed to replacing any artificial turf pitches with real grass.
“Overall, the task force was of the opinion that the United 2026 bid has presented a portfolio of existing, high quality and fully operational stadiums,” said the report.
There’s been some controversy in the past when it comes to bidding for hosting privileges, and all scoring aside, it has been reported that Morocco has a lot of support from African and Asian members of the FIFA Congress. Voting for the winning bid is to take place June 13.