Will FIFA ditch US bid for sustainable Morocco? No!

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Morocco makes sustainability the centre of its 2026 World Cup bid
Will FIFA pick sustainability over dollars?
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With the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Russia tomorrow, you may have missed the news that football’s governing body will today decide on the host for the 2026 event.

The governing body have to decide between a North American joint bid comprising Mexico, the United States and Canada which promises a big buck profit bonanza, and a much more modest approach from Morocco which majors on sustainability.

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Given FIFA’s decision making history and rationale, it’s hard to predict whether the sustainability card will be enough of a lure.

Legacy re-use

One of the key sustainability elements of the bid is the ability to dismantle and re-use the nine new stadia proposed in the bid. The aim is that there will be no white elephants in Morocco.

However, the fact that there are nine stadia to build, and five to upgrade, all on a tight budget is a challenge in itself.

On the plus side, there is a commitment to specify recycled materials where possible.

Waste management

Because sustainability is such a wide issue, waste and resource management could probably do with a boost, should Morocco win the bid. In it’s GRI report submitted as part of the process it states:

‘The candidacy committee has taken steps to ensure that its vision of waste management is in sync with the concept of the circular economy, with a commitment firstly to reduce the quantity of produced waste, and secondly to favour materials that are 100% recyclable, reusable and/or biodegradable.

‘To this end, rubbish containers are located near the worksites in order to group the types of produced waste, which is retained in a final storage area before being recovered by specialised service providers for the purposes of recycling, reuse or reclamation.’

This all sounds great, but the report goes on to state its key indicators over the candidacy period as:

  • 20 per cent recycled waste (relative to the total mass of generated waste)
  • 1 kg of plastic waste and 10 kg of paper per person (average) over the candidacy period.

To be honest, 20 per cent needs to be improved. Perhaps that’s an opportunity? You can watch the bid decision as it happens at 11.30 today on www.fifa.com.

UPDATE: Dollars won the day with FIFA’s governing body.

 

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