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Why did Morocco protest against changes in FIFA criteria?

A few weeks before the election of the next venue, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation assures that FIFA has harmed them

Why did Morocco protest against changes in FIFA criteria?

Leer en español: ¿Por qué Marruecos protestó por cambios en criterios de la FIFA?

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation protested to FIFA, considering that by not being notified of changes in the form of evaluation of the World Cup proposals their candidacy was damaged. On March 25, the president of the Moroccan federation, Fouzi Lekjaa, sent a letter in which he complains that FIFA notified on March 14 of the new scoring system that would be used to evaluate the candidacies. This date was detrimental to the Moroccans, as the deadline for the reports was March 16, just two days after the notification.

Morocco states that several criteria included in the FIFA notification of 14 March had not been communicated before, so the federation of the African country did not have the opportunity to present its candidature with the new criteria. The North African country considers that the warning of March 14 occurred to harm his candidacy for the World Cup.

The Moroccan proposal competes with the tripartite proposal of Mexico, Canada, and the United States that marches as a favorite to host the World Cup. Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, has repeatedly shown his enthusiasm for the candidacy of the North American countries, since he was largely the driving force behind it.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first with 48 selections, so the technical requirements are greater than the previous world ones, since it represents a complex logistics and a high budget to meet the expenses. Therefore, the president of FIFA looked favorably on the candidacy presented by Canadians, Mexicans, and Americans, since the infrastructure is practically ready, as well as communications and telecommunications.

However, the greatest advantage of the North Americans countries is that they guarantee an economic success for FIFA. The candidates have assured the total sale of tickets and full stadiums that, added to sponsorships and television rights, seem to be a big business.

The antecedents of the 1970 and 1986 World Cups organized by Mexico and 1994 in the United States offer good guarantees to FIFA that Morocco does not have, so the situation denounced by the African country harms their aspirations. In particular, the main problem is that the Moroccans did not know the particularities of the scoring system that would be used by the technical committee of the football governing body.

The scoring system goes from 0 to 5, where the committee must carry out an evaluation to different areas and assign a qualification, which to be approved must be 2. The Moroccan federation stressed that FIFA changed the criteria on the capacity of its airports, hotel capacity, number of inhabitants of the host cities, durability of the properties, among others.

In this sense, Morocco has a high probability of not approving the evaluation of the FIFA committee, which is why Africans see this as the way FIFA would leave them out. In its favor, Morocco has several aspects: the support of the federations of Africa and Asia, especially those of Arab countries, as well as countries of Latin America that expect the World Cup to arrive in South America in 2030.

It is worth remembering that this is not the first candidacy of Morocco, the corruption scandal of FIFA showed the African country as a victim of agreements against it inside the institution, for that reason they weigh the current accusations of the Maghrebis. Will history repeat again?

Latin American Post | Luis Liborio
Translated from “¿Por qué Marruecos protestó por cambios en criterios de la FIFA?”

 

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