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FIFA to meet with North American, Moroccan bid candidates for 2026 World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
ICC organizer Charlie Stillitano suggests Morocco's late 2026 World Cup bid is no match for the North American joint bid.

ZURICH -- FIFA's bid inspectors will hold a meeting in Zurich on Wednesday with the North American and Moroccan candidates hoping to host the 2026 World Cup.

Officials from the joint United States-Canada-Mexico team and Morocco are invited to answer questions from a FIFA-appointed panel evaluating their bids ahead of the June 13 vote, FIFA said on Monday.

No date is set to publish FIFA's evaluation reports ahead of the vote by up to 207 member federations in Moscow.

Though voters are not obliged to factor the reports into their choice, FIFA put a more rigorous assessment system in place after criticism of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting votes in December of 2010.

Then, some FIFA executive committee members did not read or ignored in-house technical reports which identified eventual winners Russia and Qatar as the highest-risk options among nine candidates.

FIFA's bidding rules now allow the unlikely prospect of its five-man task force disqualifying a candidate for a low evaluation score.

While all the North American venues are in place for a 48-team, 80-game tournament, Morocco's bid plan calls for building or renovating 14 stadiums and more than 100 training bases.

The FIFA panel made three-day visits to tour parts of both bidders' projects in April, and Morocco was visited a second time to clarify more details.

Both candidates must be formally approved by FIFA's ruling council at a June 10 meeting in Moscow to get on the ballot paper.


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