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Morocco's 2026 World Cup bid masks country's homosexuality ban

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein, Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner discuss how they see African teams faring in the 2018 World Cup.

A FIFA task force arrived in Morocco on Monday to inspect a World Cup bid that obscures one potential impediment to hosting the 2026 showpiece: Homosexuality is a criminal offense in the north African country.

An Associated Press review of 483 pages of documents submitted to FIFA found Morocco failed to declare its anti-LGBT law as a risk factor and provide a remedy, appearing to flout stringent new bidding requirements.

FIFA has demonstrated a growing awareness in recent years of how rights abuses...

South Africa to back Morocco 2026 World Cup bid ahead of June vote

Danny Jordaan has pledged his support for Morocco's bid.

South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco "unqualified support" in its drive to host the 2026 World Cup in a contest against a combined North American bid.

On Monday, the South African federation said Jordaan had assured a visiting Morocco bid delegation that he would "personally lobby" African officials ahead of the scheduled vote in Moscow on June 13.

Up to 207 FIFA member federations will vote at their congress on the eve of the World Cup in Russia.


Morocco and Munir El Haddadi take World Cup squad appeal to CAS

Munir El Haddadi appeared for Spain's senior side in 2014.

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation and striker Munir El Haddadi have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to enable him to be included in their World Cup squad.

Spanish-born Munir, whose father was born in Morocco, played for Spain's senior side in a Euro 2016 qualifying match in 2014.

Last month, FIFA turned down an appeal by Morocco and Munir, who plays for Deportivo Alaves on loan from Barcelona, for him to be allowed to represent them.

"The Court of Arbitration for...

FIFA to evaluate risk of violence if Mexico co-hosts 2026 World Cup

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez are joined by's Calen Carr to talk all things Juan Carlos Osorio, including how his coaching style and tactics have impacted El Tri.
The fourth leg of Martin Ainstein's trip through Russia takes him to World Cup host city Samara, home of Stalin's bunker.

FIFA inspectors will begin evaluating Mexico's suitability to stage World Cup matches in 2026 on Monday after a study commissioned for the North American bid highlighted concerns about violent attacks on female fans, human rights activists and reporters in the country.

Mexico City is the first stop on a five-day trip by the FIFA task force, which also will visit Atlanta, Toronto and the New York metropolitan area, where the bid committee proposed the 2026 final be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


 By PA Sport

FIFA to evaluate U.S.-led World Cup bid April 9-13; Morocco April 16-19

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
ICC organizer Charlie Stillitano suggests Morocco's late 2026 World Cup bid is no match for the North American joint bid.
U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support its World Cup joint bid.

FIFA has announced the schedule for the bid evaluation visits in the increasingly tense race to stage the 2026 World Cup.

As set out in the rules introduced after the controversies of the 2010 decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively, the recommendations of the "bid evaluation task force" will go a long way to deciding if the joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States will be joined on the ballot by Morocco's bid.

The American-led United bid was the...