Morocco has declared its intention to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup with a formal proposal to be submitted by 16th March 2018.
The 2026 tournament will be the first to be held under a new 48 team format with 16 first round groups of three teams meaning 10 to 12 stadiums will be required to host 80 matches. Morocco already has six suitable stadia in Tangier, Marrakech, Fez, Casablanca, Agadir and the capital Rabat each with a seating capacity of over 45,000.
The North African country has impressive infrastructure hosting more than ten million visitors each year with world class airports and a wide range of accommodation including distinctive traditional options like our Marrakech Riads.
At this stage the only competing bid is from a North American consortium comprising Canada, USA and Mexico. It will be interesting to see if the politics of FIFA favour Morocco which would please both the African and Middle Eastern federations.
Morocco is a huge football supporting nation. The 10th and 11th editions of the World Club Championship were hosted here with both held finals in the stunning new Stadium in Marrakech. The 2013 competition was won by Bayern Munich with a 2 0 victory over local favourites and surprise finalists Raja Casablanca. In 2014 the winners were Real Madrid who beat San Lorenzo of Argentina 2 0.
The 2015 African Cup of nations was scheduled to be held in Morocco but was relocated at the last minute to Equatorial Guinea because of concerns over the ebola virus at that time. We hope the 2026 bid will come to a more successful conclusion.
In the meantime Marrakech is a great place to visit for a football supporter, the locals will always be delighted to engage in football conversation and banter, games in the major European leagues are shown free of charge in cafes and bars all over the city.