FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has said that the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup will be among the most “transparent” and “fair” in world sport.
The Italian made the claim as FIFA unveiled the two competing bids for the 2026 finals, one from Morocco and a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
FIFA is attempting to clean up its image after the 2010 bidding process that saw Russia handed this summer’s World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament was widely criticised as corrupt.
“I challenge anyone to point out an organisation that conducts a bidding process as fair, objective and transparent as the one that FIFA is carrying out for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Infantino said in a statement.
“FIFA has been heavily criticised for how it conducted the selection of hosts in the past; it was our obligation to learn from this and leave no room for any doubt or subjectivity. These are necessary steps to ensure that we never go back to the ‘old ways’.”
Infantino confirms the 2026 World Cup vote will be an "open vote" and details of each voters pick will be published immediately on FIFA's website. Some members wanted a closed vote.
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) March 16, 2018
The unified North American bid includes 23 candidate cities that can be reduced to 16 host cities, while the Moroccan bid includes plans to renovate five old venues, build three new ones as well as construct six modular stadiums that will be dismantled after the competition.
The 2026 World Cup will be the first to adopt a new 48-team format.