A joint bid from Concacaf member associations — the United States, Mexico and Canada, won the voting for hosting right of the first 48-team World Cup in 2026 at the 68th Fifa annual congress in Moscow on Wednesday, June 13.
The joint American bid won 134 votes (67% of votes) as opposed to Morocco's tally of 65 as 210 member nations (200 eligible) voted in public on the eve of Fifa World Cup 2018 opener between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
One member nation voted for neither of the two bids, according to governing body's official website.
Morocco, who joined the bidding rights on the deadline day for submitting applications, ended up disappointed yet again as it was their fifth unsuccessful bid after similar instances in 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010.
The North African nation was bidding to become only the second from the continent after South Africa in 2010 to host the prestigious quadrennial global spectacle.
World Cup to return to the US for the first time since 1994
Meanwhile, the World Cup will return to the US for the first time since 1994. Mexico had hosted the quadrennial tournament twice in 1970 and 1986.
This is the only second time a joint bid has won the hosting right after South Korea and Japan did so for the 2002 edition.
The US, Mexico and Canada were considered favorites in the lead up to the voting process, given the financial and infrastructural solidity of their bid.
A Fifa inspection of the two bids was done and Morocco's bid passed the test but was deemed "high risk" in three different areas.
Nine of the 14 stadiums submitted by the North African country is yet to be built while only two of those were labelled to have "sufficient levels of accommodation". Transportation and accommodation were also seen as one of the high-risk areas.
On the other hand, the North American bid did not have any high-risk areas while medium risk measures were discussed.
Morocco eventually had ended up scoring only 2.7 out of five in the Fifa test while the joint American bid scored four.
One of the major talking points from the analysis of the joint bid was the Donald Trump government's new entry regulations, which was aimed at issuing travel bans on people from many Muslim countries.
Nonetheless, Trump had provided United States association officials with three letters addressed to Fifa president Gianni Infantino, guaranteeing foreign teams, officials, and fans restriction-free entry to the US, according to The New York Times.
Notably, 60 of the 80 games have been proposed to be held in the US, with the final at the MetLife Stadium in New York.