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MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has submitted its bid with world’s governing football body FIFA its bid for hosting the 2026 World Cup, the federation announced on its website on Friday.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first championship in the history to be held in 48-team format. The bid to host the football championship in 2026 was also submitted earlier jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Friday is the deadline for submitting the bids for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The main requirements for the biding countries are stadiums and infrastructure, observation of human rights and environmental protection, support at the state level and the championship’s heritage program.
"On 11 May 2017, the 67th FIFA Congress approved a timeline for the next steps of the bidding process that will select the host(s) of the 2026 FIFA World Cup," FIFA announced in its statemebnt on Friday. "According to the approved motion, member associations from CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and the OFC had three months - until 11 August 2017 - to express their interest in hosting the tournament."
The world’s governing body of football stated that before the deadline expired it received " a joint expression of interest submitted by the Canadian Soccer Association, the Mexican Football Association and the United States Soccer Federation," as well as "an expression of interest submitted by the Moroccan Football Association."
The hosting country for the 2026 World Cup will be elected in June 2018 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow. If all of the bidding programs from the candidate countries did not suit the Congress, the second round of the election would be scheduled and the decision would be made in 2020.
"…the decision on whether to select one of the above bidders to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be taken by the 68th FIFA Congress, which will convene in Moscow on 13 June next year, on the eve of the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup," according to the statement from FIFA.
A decision to increase the number of national teams participating in the World Cup from the current number of 32 up to a total of 48 was unanimously approved by the FIFA Council at its session in Zurich in January.
The new format of participation comes into force staring with the 2026 world football championship and stipulates a total of 16 groups with three national teams in each competing for the World Cup trophy.
The initiative to enlarge the participating format was voiced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in 2016 during his election campaign for the post of the organization’s president, but he initially proposed the number of 40 national teams.
The next two World Cups, which will be held in 2018 in Russia and in 2022 in Qatar, will be organized in line with the previous FIFA regulations stipulating a participating format of 32 national teams.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup earlier this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The country was granted the right for the global quadrennial football championship after winning the bid in Guatemala in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.