As the 2026 World Cup bidders prepare to submit their formal application on March 16th, Morocco once again emphasizes its strengths to prove that it has all the assets to host the world tournament.
Morocco is determined to convince the majority of the 211 associations affiliated with FIFA to vote for its bid. Ahead of submitting its formal application, the North African country unveiled some of the arguments it will use to defend its application.
According to the Atlas Lions sports website, the Moroccan 2026 World Cup Bid Committee will take advantage of its ideal geographical situation—which has a time zone similar to that of Europe and Africa.
According to authorities, Morocco’s Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), is another asset that would attract more votes as this would be beneficial for both traveling teams, potential spectators, and fans.Europeans would struggle to watch the games if they aired at late hours.
British news outlet BBC quoted a document provided by Morocco’s committee, emphasizing that “beyond profitability, Morocco’s sweet-spot location will allow all European fans to watch World Cup games in decent and premium hours.”
Morocco first applied to host the tournament on August 11th, 2017— but the country’s bid campaign was only launched by the Moroccan committee on January 23rd.
In January, Moroccan Minister of Sports and Youth said during a press conference that the country selected 12 different cities to host the tournament. The cities that were chosen are some of the most attractive ones, and receive thousands of tourists every year.
The list of the cities selected by Morocco includes Casablanca, Marrakech, Tetouan, Nador, Meknes, El-Jadida, Fez, Oujda, Tangier, Agadir, Rabat, and Ouarzazate.
To travel between cities in Morocco , the flying time will not exceed 75 minutes, according to Moroccan authorities. This is in stark contrast to the multiple-hour flights between the three nations of the North American Bid (USA-Mexico-Canada).
, Morocco is also planning to build 7 new stadiums if the country wins the bid. In order to win, Morocco will need 104 votes from the 211 members federations to host the enormous event in 2026.
Morocco’s Influence is Spreading
The Moroccan bid has received unwavering support from several African countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, Botswana, and Nigeria.
Sports officials from both FIFA and CAF have also voiced their support of the bid. Since the submission of Morocco’s bid in August, the President of the African Football Confederation, Ahmad Ahmad, has shown full support for Morocco’s bid, emphasizing that the time has come for Africa to host the tournament again.
If Morocco wins the bid to host the 23rd FIFA World Cup, it will be the second African country ever to host the World Cup. The first to host was South Africa, back in 2010.
Ahmad’s statements were echoed by ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who believes that Morocco is the logical host of the 2026 World Cup.
America’s Bid Aware of Moroccan Strength
In January, chairman of the American bid Sunil Gulati described the Moroccan bid as a “tough battle” for the three American nations.
While the three American nations believe that they already have the infrastructure to host any sports event, for Gulati, “This is not only about our stadiums and hotels. It is about perceptions of America [especially the United States], because and it is a difficult time for the world.”
Gulati’s statements came in response to the international political issues surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump.
Gulati added that there are many political factors beyond his control. “We can’t control what happens at the 38th parallel in Korea, and we can’t control what happens with embassies in Tel Aviv, or what happens with climate change accords. We do the best we can. We have the support of Washington.”
In December, Gulati said that the North American bidders are expecting Morocco to “campaign hard” in order to host the 2026 World Cup.
“We expect Morocco to put forward a very good bid […], we expect them to campaign hard,” he said.