Morocco will complete proposed World Cup projects, bid chairman claims
The chairman of Morocco's failed bid to host the 2026 World Cup has said the country will realise the projects proposed for the tournament.
Morocco lost Wednesday's vote at the FIFA Congress in Moscow to a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada by 134 votes to 65.
The African country had set out plans to build new transport infrastructure, hospitals and a large number of hotels and leisure facilities.
In addition, it outlined proposals to vastly increase its number of football stadiums, pledging to build nine new arenas and increase the capacity of three others.
And, despite the defeat, bid chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy said in a statement: "Morocco is proud to have led a campaign that was committed, ethical and totally in keeping to the rules imposed by FIFA.
"Through this bid, Morocco has demonstrated its ability to organise the FIFA World Cup, which in 2026 for the first time will see the participation of 48 teams, meeting the new demanding specifications of FIFA.
"Under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty The King, the Kingdom of Morocco is determined to continue on its current trajectory. The projects that we have presented in the Bid Book will be realised. We managed this Bid with a sporting spirit and we will continue our path in the same vein."
The president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Fouzi Lekjaa, added: "Morocco is pleased to have presented a solid bid where football is at the centre of an authentic, profitable FIFA World Cup with a strong legacy.
"On behalf of the FRMF I wish to congratulate my colleagues - the presidents of the USA, Mexico, and Canada Football Associations – and I wish them all the best in organising the FIFA World Cup and furthering the path of development of football.
"I also wish to congratulate FIFA for the conduct of this bid process and president [Gianni] Infantino for all that has been done to make things move towards more transparency and inclusion and I want to reaffirm the commitment of my country to continue to work for football."