Lessons from Morocco's unsuccessful bid to host the 2026 World Cup

What you need to know:

  • African teams have had mixed performances, but more on that later. Tuesday’s matches that saw Nigeria eliminated also saw the tournament’s 100th goal and the first goal-less match after 37 straight games with goals, some as many as seven.
  • Fifa expects that only a tiny minority of World Cup viewers get to watch the matches live at the stadiums, so bidders were asked to demonstrate their plans for an International Broadcast Centre and also provide a minimum of 4,000 hotel rooms for the broadcasters.
  • I can’t endorse any sport-betting picks, but Goldman Sachs ran 200,000 artificial intelligence simulations of the 2018 World Cup before it started. They predicted that no African team or hosts Russia would make it to the second round.

The World Cup is in full swing now in Russia, with much more excitement than most had expected. African teams have had mixed performances, but more on that later. Tuesday’s matches that saw Nigeria eliminated also saw the tournament’s 100th goal and the first goal-less match after 37 straight games with goals, some as many as seven. Almost every match so far has seen drama in the final seconds, with video-assisted referees often playing a controversial part.

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