Thursday, 19 September 2019 06:14 GMT
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FIFA's 2026 Task Force to Arrive in Morocco April 16




(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Fouzi Lekjaa, President of Morocco's Royal Football Federation and Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA Rabat – The 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force will officially visit Morocco from April 16-19, announced the football world's governing body on Friday.

'As part of the ongoing bidding process of the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ and following the submission of the , the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force will visit the respective member association,' read the from FIFA.

The FIFA delegation will visit four Moroccan cities: Marrakech (April 16-17), Agadir (April 17-18); Tangier (April 18-19) and Casablanca (April 19).

According to the international body, the cities have been selected 'after consultation with the respective bid committees.'

The visit aims at clarifying 'technical aspects' included in the bid books of the two competitors.

'The visits to the member associations represent only one part of the overall assessment process implemented by the 2026 Bid Evaluation Task Force.'

The Task Force visit will follow the recent letters that Morocco addressed to FIFA, expressing the country's concerns over the scoring system.

FRMF addressed its first letter to FIFA on March 25, regarding Morocco's concerns about the fairness and transparency of the procedure.

'To my surprise, the scoring system was finally sent to us on March 14–24 hours before Morocco submitted its file and two days before the deadline for the submission of applications to FIFA,' wrote the FRMF president.

Lekjaa explained that this system adds 'several technical criteria that were not part of the original regulations,' adding that some principles 'have never been transmitted to FRMF in the preparation process of the Moroccan bid.'

On April 3, FIFA responded to convey that the aim of the Task Force is to 'determine whether the bids meet the requirements in terms of infrastructure and revenue-cost criteria.'

The international body added that FIFA 'simply provides a methodology for assessing and documenting the extent to which bids submitted meet these requirements in certain key areas.'

Most of the criteria used in the 2026 Task Force are not sine qua non, which results in the exclusion of a bidder if it is not respected. These'objective' factors constitute 'the evaluation of the bidder.'

FIFA's arguments, however, were not enough to convince Morocco's FRMF.

'We have taken note of your answers, but unfortunately they have not resolved these concerns and we are still convinced that the scoring system does not comply with the requirements of the bid rules,' reads the recent letter of President of FRMF Fouzi Lekjaa to FIFA.

Lekjaa continued, saying that Morocco was surprised this measure surfaced only 48 hours before Morocco submitted its bid.

'The late distribution of the scoring system cannot be justified merely by the fact that it was communicated as soon as possible to the candidates,' he added.

FIFA's Task Force committee includes Chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee, Tomaž Vesel; Chairman of the Governance Committee, Mukul Mudgal; Member of the Organising Committee for Competitions, Ilcho Gjorgjioski; FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Administration), Marco Villiger; and FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football), Zvonimir Boban.

According to FIFA's statement, the committee members are not allowed to give interviews during their visit. The international organization added that it will publish the evaluation reports after the conclusion of the evaluation process.

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FIFA's 2026 Task Force to Arrive in Morocco April 16

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