The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has broken its silence to criticize FIFA’s 2026 Evaluation Task Force.
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad shared the same sentiment as former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, stating that the 68th FIFA Congress to be held in June is the only legitimate body to select the location of the 2026 World Cup.
In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Ahmad described the task force as a “step backward.”
It is up to the FIFA Congress alone to vote for the submitted 2026 World Cup bids, added Ahmad.
Ahmad further said that the role of the Evaluation Task Force is limited to analyzing the applications and collecting information that would then be sent to the association presidents who will vote on June 13.
Earlier this month, Blatter criticized the decision of the world football governing body to empower a delegation to evaluate the bids to host the 23rd quadrennial tournament in 2026.
On his Twitter account, Blatter said that only “the congress shall decide on the attribution of the World Cup 2026–and not any sub-committee or task-force.”
Blatter added that all of the bidders Morocco and the three nations North American bid have the right to “make a presentation” during the June 13 FIFA Congress in Moscow.
In a statement released on April 7, FIFA announced that its evaluation committee will officially visit Morocco from April 16-19.
“As part of the ongoing bidding process of the 2026 FIFA World Cup and following the submission of the bid books, the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force will visit the respective member association,” read the statement from FIFA.
The task force visit comes following the recent correspondence to FIFA from the Royal Morocco Football Federation (FRMF) expressing the association’s concerns over the site evaluation scoring system. The FRMF addressed two letters to FIFA regarding Morocco’s concerns about the fairness and transparency of the new procedure announced by the world football governing body. The letter condemned the new measure, stating that “several technical criteria that were not part of the original regulations” were never transmitted to FRMF during the preparation process of the Moroccan bid.
FIFA responded to convey that the goal of the task force is to determine if the bids meet the requirements in terms of infrastructure.
Most of the criteria used for the 2026 task force evaluation process are not sine qua non, meaning they would not lead to the exclusion of a particular bidder if the criteria is not met. The “objective” factors may constitute “the evaluation of the bidder.”
FRMF went back to contest FIFA’s argument in a follow-up letter.
“We have taken note of your answers, but unfortunately they have not resolved these concerns and we are still convinced that the scoring system does not comply with the requirements of the bid rules,” reads the recent letter from FRMF President Fouzi Lekjaa to FIFA.