ZURICH: Morocco may take a loophole in World Cup bidding regulations all the way to the floor of FIFA Congress in the duel with United States, Canada and Mexico to in host rights to the 2026 finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter decided on a reform of the award system after the scandal of the 2018 and 2022 process. Blatter’s priority was to return the decision to congress for the first time since 1966 rather than the governing council (formerly executive committee).

Morocco’s bidding committee is concerned that the new regulations do not take into account the possibility of political influence over member associations from overseas territories of bidding nations.

In the case of the 2026 ballots – assuming Morocco overcomes the contentious evaluation procedure – this offers voting rights to federations from US-linked territories such as American Samoa, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Morocco believes that the vote in congress in Moscow on June 13 could be so tight that every vote will count.

However the only option open to the North Africans would be to challenge the voting rights of such US-linked federations on the floor of FIFA Congress. This could entail an application for an emergency resolution on which congress would first have to vote.

Only in the event of approval could a substantive vote be held.

Apart from the World Cup vote the other major item of particular interest on the congress agenda is a proposal from South American confederation CONMEBOL that FIFA create a task force to study increasing the number of finalists in 2022 in Qatar from 32 to 48.

At the moment the leap to a 48-team tournament is scheduled for 2026.