Morocco’s Sports and Youth Minister, Rachid Talbi Alami, has said the North African country will build seven new stadia should its bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup prove successful.

Morocco is competing against the joint ‘United 2026’ bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico in an effort to land the national team football tournament.

Alami told the website that Morocco’s stadium vision for the World Cup will include six stadia with a capacity of at least 45,000, along with a 100,000-seat stadium in Casablanca.

The new stadia will be added to five existing ones and two others that are under construction in the northern city of Tetouan and the eastern city of Oujda, respectively. Alami added that construction of the new stadia, and redevelopment of others, is expected to cost between $800m (€654.1m) and $1bn.

Along with Casablanca, Tetouan and Oujda, the stadia are planned to be located in nine other cities, namely: Marrakesh, Rabat, Fez, Tangier, Nador, Meknes, El Jadida, Agadir and Ouarzazate.

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) confirmed it would bid for the World Cup in August, and the country’s proposal is considered a major underdog when the FIFA Congress votes to decide on the host on June 13, ahead of this year’s event in Russia.

The World Cup has only been staged in Africa on one previous occasion, when South Africa played host in 2010. Morocco unsuccessfully bid to host the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments.

Image: Aymane fahssi