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Moroccan Federation Says Will Bid to Host 2026 FIFA World Cup | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Germany’s players hold up the World Cup trophy as they celebrate after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)

The football federation of Morocco (FRMF) announced on Friday that it will seek to bid for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

It said that it had informed football’s world governing body FIFA of its intention to host the tournament that is held once every four years.

This would be the North African country’s fifth attempt to hold the tournament. It had failed in all previous bids in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

It will join the United States, Canada and Mexico that had all already announced a joint North American bid to host the event.

If successful, Morocco would become only the second African country to host football’s flagship event following South Africa in 2010.

The north Africans have received backing from African federation (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad, who said he was “convinced” the country is ready to host a World Cup.

The 2026 tournament will be the first with an expanded 48-team tournament, up from the current 32 qualifiers.

The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia.

Morocco had won the right to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations but pulled out at the 11th hour over concerns related to the Ebola outbreak in western Africa at the time.

But the country has embarked on a professionalization drive to improve its football infrastructure while increasing it’s candidacies for various tournaments in order to improve its chances of landing a much coveted World Cup.