Morocco touts gun safety in 2026 World Cup

March 27, 2018
@Normal:The Jules Rimet trophy, which is presented to the winners of the FIFA World Cup.

(AP):

Morocco touted its limited threat from gun crime in a 2026 World Cup bidding proposal to take on the United States-led rival for the football showpiece.

The north African nation highlighted safety for visiting fans in bidding documents published by FIFA yesterday. However, the documents show every stadium and training ground requires building work as part of a US$15.8 billion upgrade for the World Cup.

By contrast, the North American bid book says it is the low-risk proposition for FIFA since no infrastructure will be built for the first World Cup after the jump from 32 to 48 finalists.

Morocco's decision to point to "very low gun circulation" comes amid the growing call for stricter laws regarding firearms in the US following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead.

The US is the dominant partner in a North American bid with 60 of the 80 games, while Canada and Mexico would each stage 10 matches. Their bid documents do not reference crime rates or gun issues but stress that the three countries have "long histories of staging safe, peaceful celebrations of international sport."

Morocco also cites an "exceptionally low murder rate" of three in 100,000. The latest equivalent figures in North America are: 18.7 in Mexico, 5.3 in the US and 1.68 in Canada.

The decision on the 2026 World Cup host is due in June at the FIFA Congress.

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