Wednesday — North America wins the bid against Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup in a 134 to 65 victory.
FIFA congress of 207 voters decided in Moscow that the 2026 World Cup will be held in North America, where Mexico and the US have both hosted before.
Each bidder was allotted 15 minutes to give their final presentation before congress; only a 50 percent majority is needed to be declared the winner.
For Morocco and the rest of the continent, it was a big disappointment. Hosting the World Cup, for Africa, means being able to paint a more positive image for themselves.
Russia is hoping to do the same thing for this upcoming World Cup. Considering their past discrepancies with their “passionate” fans, people are tuning in to see how Russian soccer-enthusiasts will be behaving.
Prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the nation spent vasts amount of money constructing new stadiums and improving infrastructure in order to attract sports fans. Reports claim that the country spent close to $3.9 billion for the games.
Money is a huge incentive when considering where the games should be hosted, so North America certainly does have an allure; North America predicts that it will bring in $14.3 billion in revenue. Morocco’s forecast was $7.2 billion.
To add more of a lure to North America, US President Donald Trump made a few comments about the issue.
Trump’s push for travel restrictions to the U.S. and adverse commentary on developing regions already presented obstacles. In May the president, in publicly backing the bid, questioned why the U.S. should support other countries who might bid against the US.
The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
He congratulated North America this morning on Twitter.
Regarding government influence in the World Cup bid, Germany federation president Richard Grindel said:
“The clear vote is good for sports. I spoke to a lot of colleagues from other countries, not only from Europe. And I don’t know anyone who said that their government influenced the vote. But, of course, just giving the impression that it could have made a difference is bad. Like I said, that’s why I am delighted with the clear vote. It was made on the basis of the evaluation report, and not because of exertion of influence.”
Outside of geopolitics, another determining factor might have been FIFA’s analysis of Morocco being “high-risk”. The risks relate to stadiums, accommodation and transport. They were given a 2.7 out of 5 following the FIFA inspections. Had they scored less than a 2, the North African country could have been disqualified.
“The amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated,” the bid evaluation task force said. “The Morocco 2026 bid and United 2026 bid represent two almost opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the nature of their bids.”
With having to build new stadiums and making improvements in infrastructure and transportation, Morocco was likely to be a repeat of South Africa, and above positive appearances and sportsmanship, the tournament is about money.