FIFA’s top administrator has warned the organization’s 211 member federations against accepting gifts and benefits by any member association bidding to host the FIFA 2026 World Cup.
According to the New York Times, the federation’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura delivered a six-page letter which specifically targeted Morocco. In the letter, Ms. Samoura’s warns voters not to accept any technical or development support.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) and Secretary General Fatma Saamoura (R)
The decision to closely scrutinize Morocco is believed to have been a arrived at after a 2015 revelation where American investigators indicted Morocco for having tried to induce voters. This preceded Morocco’s failed bids in 1998, 2006 and even in 2010.
Sources indicate that the President of Confederation of African Football is behind Morocco’s bid, and that there are plans to prevail upon the 54 members to back the bid.
“All members of the FIFA Council and delegates of the FIFA Congress should take their personal shortlisting or selection decision on the basis of their own assessment of the merits of the bids without being influenced by supportive or adverse comments of other officials,” Samoura wrote in her letter.
“Therefore, all officials are requested to refrain from expressing publicly their personal opinion about the merits of one or more bids during the bidding procedure.” She added.
As of now, Morocco remains the only African country that has made the bid to compete with the North American continent for the chance to host the 2026 event.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. Two official bids to host the event have already been submitted to FIFA: a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, and a bid by Morocco. Africa has only hosted the World Cup once when it took place in South Africa 2010.