Zurich, December 1: Morocco has decided to challenge the the three-nation joint bid of the United States, Mexico, and Canada to host the 2026 World Cup.
The game's global governing body's (FIFA) president Gianni Infantino has confirmed that it has received only two bids as the November 30 deadline expired.
It is for the fifth time that Morocco is bidding to host the FIFA quadrennial showpiece following the African nation's previous failed attempts in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.
Morocco And USA/Canada/Mexico Confirm 2026 World Cup Bids. https://t.co/gzoVkGYVYN— Channels Television (@channelstv) November 30, 2017
The next stage will be the submission of complete candidacy dossiers by the candidates on March 16, 2018. The host will be chosen on June 13, but the way the choice is made marks a change by FIFA.
The decision used to be made by FIFA's executive committee, but following the suspicions that hovered over its selection of Russia and Qatar in December 2010, and the subsequent scandal that dethroned president Sepp Blatter, the committee was stripped of some power and renamed the FIFA Council.
The new-look council must rubber-stamp the bids, but the final decision will be taken in a vote of the 211 national federations at a congress in Moscow.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first-of-its kind as will have 48 teams, rather than the 32 who will compete in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).
The draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup will be held in Kremlin on Friday (December 1).
The draw will split the 32 teams into eight groups in the tournament to be held from June 14 to July 15 next year.