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Morocco’s plans for 2026 World Cup bid revealed

As countries compete to win the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Morocco has revealed the details of its proposal to land the international soccer competition and the estimated budget required to meet the tournament’s criteria.

With a joint bid from the USA, Canada and Mexico already on the table, which is able to offer a wealth of large existing stadia used in the NFL and modern infrastructure, Morocco World Cup committee chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy said the country will need to spend almost US$16bn to stage the prestigious sporting event. The bid will use US$12.6bn in public investment as well as another US$3.2bn of private funding.

The north west African country’s bid outlines that it would use the budget to build entirely new stadia, as well as renovate existing venues and improve health and public transportation services.

Elalamy, who spoke at a recent press conference in Casablanca, Morocco, revealed that the country must have 14 stadia (nine would be built from scratch and five upgraded) and 130 training grounds that all meet the standards for the 2026 tournament. This would cost an estimated US$3bn from the US$12.6bn public investment.

Part of the criteria for a tournament stadium is that it must be close to at least two training grounds and a hotel with a minimum of 200 rooms. The private funding purse is said to be for the construction of new hotels, which Elelamy claims will meet FIFA’s requirements:

“The hotel capacity of the kingdom is growing at an annual rate of 7%. With 6% growth, we can significantly exceed the 5,500 [new] rooms required by FIFA in 2026.”

Elsewhere, Morocco would need to spend a portion of the US$12.6bn public investment to upgrade hospitals and infrastructure across its 20 host cities that would cater for the first ever 48-team World Cup.

With three months until the FIFA judging panel casts its deciding vote it will be looking to score each bid on its stadiums, infrastructure and revenues.

March 21, 2018

Written by James Billington


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