Morocco has just revealed the details of their bid for the World Cup in 2026 – but what exactly do countries need to have in place to be able to host Football’s biggest spectacle?
The 2026 edition will be the 25th World Cup and the first to feature 48 teams, meaning there are even more expectations on host countries during the tournament.
Stadium wise, all grounds must have 40,000 seats for group stage games, a figure that rises to 60,000 for the Quarter-finals onwards.
All of the grounds listed in Morocco’s bid will have at least 40,000 seats, but only two grounds capable of hosting at least 60,000.
Luckily for the North African nation, that will be enough to satisfy the requirements – but it does mean that the final eight games (four quarter-finals, two semi-finals, the final and third-place playoff) will be shared across just two different stadia.
For the final itself, the stadium must allow for 80,000 spectators – but this will not be a problem for Morocco, as they intend to build a new 100,000 seater stadium in Casablanca.
Apart from capacity, grounds also need to the required space to build “fan villages” 150 metres away from the ground. The villages, which take up 20,000 square feet, are for hospitality before games.
Other technical aspects that are considered include other infrastructure requirements, principles of sustainable event management, human rights and environmental protection, and details on aspects such as governmental support documents, the organizational model to be adopted and provisions for the establishment of a legacy fund.
The Moroccan bid already has public governmental support from King Mohammed VI, as well as formal support documents.
All of the twelve cities selected have airports, so transport is not a concern.
Timeline wise, for the 2026 World Cup, countries must submit their “bidbook” in March 2018, before a vote on the 13th of June at the FIFA Congress.