The United bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States has outscored Morocco in FIFA's 2026 World Cup evaluation report, with the latter branded 'high risk' in three areas.
Both bids to host the 48-team 2026 global showpiece have been approved by FIFA's 'bid evaluation task force', the world governing body confirmed on Friday evening, with a final choice - assuming both bids are signed off by the FIFA Council - now set to be made by all of the member associations at the pre-World Cup Congress in Moscow on June 13.
The American-led United bid received an overall score of four out of five, while Morocco's got 2.7 despite being graded 'high risk' for stadiums, accommodation and transport. No part of the American bid was considered 'high risk'.
The United bid had been regarded as the hot favourite, thanks to its near guarantee of commercial success, choice of world-class venues and the opportunity to grow the game in the world's richest market, although Morocco has gained ground of late and remains in with a chance of springing an upset after doing enough to convince FIFA its bid is viable.
The five-strong task force - which includes the chairmen of FIFA's audit and governance committees, as well as former Croatia and AC Milan star Zvonimir Boban, now FIFA's deputy general secretary - visited both bids to check on proposed venues, meet the bidding committees and clarify technical details.
FIFA's assessment found that, in Morocco, "a significant number of stadiums still have to be built, with major reconstruction/renovation work also necessary for those that do exist".