France declare support for Morocco's bid to host 2026 World Cup ahead of FIFA inspection

Morocco's World Cup bid is facing fresh scrutiny this week with the arrival of another delegation from FIFA after an initial task force found deficiencies in the proposals for the 2026 tournament

Paris: France is set to back Morocco in the north African country's bid to host the 2026 World Cup, the president of the French Football Association said on Friday.

"FIFA are visiting Morocco this week to check if the pitches are ready and whether, on a technical level, Morocco can be a candidate. If Morocco is retained (as a candidate), the French Football Federation will support it," Noel Le Graet said at a sponsorship event on Friday.

Morocco is the only alternative to a united bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 tournament.

FIFA will announce the winning bid after a vote on 13 June in Moscow, ahead of the start of this year's World Cup in Russia.

The only previous African World Cup was in 2010, in South Africa.

"Africa has often been neglected, history has only given it one competition," said Le Graet, pointing out the number of talented players to come out of the continent.

"Morocco is today a very developed country and it has, in my opinion, all the qualities to do it."

FIFA inspectors arrived in the country on Monday for a three-day visit to assess Morocco's ability to host the competition.

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