FIFA World Cup 2026 Bids: Will Morocco’s homosexuality ban stop their World Cup progress?

Morocco national team players prepare for World Cup 2026 Bid

Even though after getting South Africa’s unqualified backing as well as support from a host of countries in their 207 member states, the North African country’s bid to host the 2026 world cup might be in jeopardy. Unlike the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, bidders for the 2026 world cup were required to frank risk assessments as well as commission independent human rights reports. A FIFA task force has been recently deployed into Morocco to inspect the extent of the law that states that homosexuality is a criminal offense in the country guaranteeing six months to three years in Prison.

Under the new nondiscrimination requirements under FIFA’s statutes and under the Human Rights Policy, one of the red lines is anti-gay activity laws or policies. Morocco, if they’re serious about winning, would need to be prepared to repeal the article of the penal code which punishes people for being gay.
— Human Rights Watch director of global initiatives, Minky Worden

Unlike USA-Canada-Mexico, According to ESPN, Morocco had refused to acknowledge the anti-LGBTQ law as a risk and provide a remedy in their 483 paged document.

Morocco’s human rights report presented to the FIFA is an intentional silence on an issue that Morocco knows too well is a crime on its soil.
— El Haij, President of Moroccan Association for Human Rights

In August 2017, Morocco rejected recommendations from the United Nations to decriminalize same-sex relations and shun violence against the LGBTQ community.

Article 1 of the Constitution highlights the special framework of the federative constants of the Moroccan nation, namely, the moderate Muslim religion, national unity with its multiple components, constitutional monarchy and the democratic choice. Thus, the Kingdom does not accept these recommendations since they are in contradiction with the above-mentioned federative constants.
— Morocco’s Response to UN
Morocco national team players prepare for World Cup 2026 Bid that has take hit due to homosexuality fear

One of the members of the Moroccan bid team, a human rights board member maintained that Morocco could have values different from FIFA or some societies would be vigilant in welcoming visitors intolerance and kindness.  

I don’t think that [ban on homosexuality] will be an issue because organising a World Cup is mainly about infrastructure, being passionate about football, and the ability to organize a safe World Cup. We have our laws and we have our values and maybe FIFA also have their values. We may have some differences but we just need to have the ability to respect the differences and to be tolerant.
— Jamal Elamrani, Moroccan Bid’s Human Rights Board Member

What effect do you think this report has on Morocco’s chances to land this bid?