FIFA

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In 20 cat­e­gories eval­u­ated for risk, the North Amer­i­can bid had three medium-risk ar­eas — gov­ern­ment sup­port, hu­man rights and la­bor stan­dards, and or­ga­niz­ing costs — and 17 low risk.

Morocco had the three high-risk sec­tions, 10 medium risk — also in­clud­ing hu­man rights and la­bor stan­dards — and seven low risk.

FIFA or­dered more rig­or­ous in­spec­tions af­ter crit­i­cism of the 2018-2022 World Cup

votes in 2010 when Rus­sia and Qatar won de­spite be­ing judged the riski­est by a task force.

FIFA’s five-man panel could have dis­qual­i­fied Morocco had the North African coun­try recorded less than two out of five in the over­all av­er­age scor­ing, and less than two on key mea­sures in­clud­ing sta­di­ums.

The FIFA Coun­cil has to ap­prove both can­di­dates at a June 10 meet­ing in Moscow. The fi­nal vote of up to 207 mem­ber fed­er­a­tions is three days later and the in­spec­tion task force scores can be ig­nored

when mak­ing their de­ci­sion.

FIFA sent a sec­ond group of of­fi­cials to Morocco af­ter find­ing de­fi­cien­cies in their bid of­fer­ing, in­clud­ing the sta­di­ums pro­posed.

While Morocco has said it needs to spend al­most $16 bil­lion on in­fra­struc­ture for the 48-team World Cup, in­clud­ing build­ing or ren­o­vat­ing all 14 sta­di­ums, North Amer­i­can does not re­quire any tour­na­mentspe­cific build­ing work.

“Ac­com­mo­da­tion was as­sessed as be­ing the largest chal­lenge fac­ing the Morocco 2026 bid,” the bid eval­u­a­tion

re­port said. “Only two of the 14 pro­posed sta­di­ums would have suf­fi­cient lev­els of gen­eral ac­com­mo­da­tion to meet the min­i­mum re­quire­ments.”

The FIFA eval­u­a­tion con­firmed an As­so­ci­ated Press re­port in April that Morocco did not de­clare its anti-LGBT law to the gov­ern­ing body in the hu­man rights risk as­sess­ment in­cluded in the bid book.

Morocco’s bid on Fri­day said FIFA’s task force “con­firms the qual­ity of the Mo­roc­can bid book,” but of­fered no re­sponse to the short­com­ings.

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