USA World Cup bid for 2026 World Cup now officially has competition

Morocco is bidding for the 2026 World Cup

The Moroccan Football Federation has announced it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The 2026 World Cup is nine years away but the deadline for the countries interested in hosting the tournament is Friday.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first championship in the history to be held in 48-team format.

"Competition is good, and overall it shows the value and importance of the World Cup", Gulati said. Plus, by 2026 it will have been 32 years since the United States last hosted the World Cup in 1994, to mostly great acclaim (we'll just pretend the dome matches never happened).

It is the fifth time that Morocco bids for a World Cup.

Bids could only come from Africa, South America or Oceania as Europe and Asia are ruled out as 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) host the next editions.

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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. It's the biggest World Cup yet.

If neither bid meets FIFA's requirements, the process could still be re-opened to other bidders ahead of a final decision in 2020, but that's unlikely to happen. But the US will get 60 with Mexico and Canada each hosting 10.

Gulati said his organization will announce potential game sites next week.

"Next week we will provide an update on the number of cities that are interested in being part of the World Cup in 2026 across all three countries, and we'll continue to put together a bid that will meet and exceed the final regulations and specifications required by Federation Internationale de Football Association". There are potential speed bumps, however.

Morocco's bid may be undermined by the fact that it backed out of its last major hosting duties, when it won the rights to but then declined to stage the 2015 African Cup of Nations because of fears over the spread of the Ebola virus.

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