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 By PA Sport

FIFA's Fatma Samoura dismisses ethics breach claim over El Hadji Diouf link

The FC crew react to ESPN FC's initial pre-World Cup power rankings, which see Brazil claim the top spot over Spain and Germany.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has angrily rejected claims she has broken the governing body's rules by failing to declare a conflict of interest in the race to host the 2026 World Cup.

According to the BBC, Samoura has been reported to FIFA's ethics committee for not mentioning that she is related to ex-footballer and Senegalese compatriot El Hadji Diouf, who is now acting as an ambassador for Morocco's 2026 bid.

The BBC report said the unspecified family link was discovered by the FIFA World...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA must let Morocco World Cup bid reach vote to avoid impropriety - official

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
ICC organizer Charlie Stillitano suggests Morocco's late 2026 World Cup bid is no match for the North American joint bid.

Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup must be allowed to reach the final vote without being disqualified in order to avoid any questions about the selection process, according to a senior FIFA official Reinhard Grindel.

Morocco is considered an underdog to the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada, and the country's bid leaders have already voiced fears that FIFA inspectors could disqualify them from the June vote by giving insufficient marks to their tournament plans.

FIFA's inspection...

African journeyman Henri Michel passes away

Former French international and manager Henri Michel passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 70.

Michel played 58 times for his country between 1967 and 1980, and later guided the Olympic and senior Les Bleus sides.

He led the Olympic side to the gold medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, beating Brazil 2-0 in the final. Under his guidance the senior side reached the semifinals of the 1986 World Cup before defeat to West Germany.

Michel briefly managed Paris Saint Germain in 1990, but then...

Morocco's 2026 World Cup bid to undergo more FIFA scrutiny

ICC organizer Charlie Stillitano suggests Morocco's late 2026 World Cup bid is no match for the North American joint bid.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.

Morocco's World Cup bid is facing fresh scrutiny this week with the arrival of another delegation from FIFA after an initial task force found deficiencies in the proposals for the 2026 tournament.

In a downbeat conclusion to the visit by the FIFA inspectors last week, Morocco's bid leader acknowledged it had to improve the quality of the submission made to FIFA in March because inadequacies were identified by football's governing body.

The previously unplanned second inspection of Morocco is an...

FIFA questions Morocco stadium quality after surprise inspection of infrastructure

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
ICC organizer Charlie Stillitano suggests Morocco's late 2026 World Cup bid is no match for the North American joint bid.
U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support its World Cup joint bid.

CASABLANCA, Morocco -- FIFA's inspection of Morocco's 2026 World Cup plans ended with questions about the quality of stadiums and a demand for more details from the bid ahead of a second unexpected examination of infrastructure.

Bid president Moulay Hafid Elalamy acknowledged on Friday that Morocco still has to "improve the quality of our bid book," which was initially submitted to FIFA a month ago ahead of the June vote against the North American entry.

A task force deployed from FIFA HQ in Zurich...