Morocco pushes forward with 2026 World Cup bid

The Morocco 2026 World Cup bid, which has presented scarce details with five months remaining until the vote, has hired international strategy consultants.

Its only rival for the 2026 World Cup is a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada that presented its first plans last April. Morocco announced its bid with a two-sentence statement in August, and has yet to provide details of host cities or stadiums.

Morocco previously bid for the World Cup in 1998 and 2010, and was accused of bribery on both occasions by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its investigation into FIFA corruption.


FREESTYLE SKIING: David Wise of the United States will get the chance to defend his halfpipe gold medal after wrapping up his spot in the Pyeongchang Games with a victory in a qualifier at Snowmass, Colorado.

Wise beat two fellow Americans, Alex Ferreira and Aaron Blunck, for his second victory of the season. Up to three more halfpipe spots are up for grabs next week. Ferreira, Blunck, Torin Yater-Wallace and Gus Kenworthy are among those in the mix.

SLOPESTYLE: Red Gerard won a U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle event at Snowmass, Colorado, to secure his spot at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

BIATHLON: Gabriela Koukalova, a two-time world champion from the Czech Republic, was ruled out of next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics with a calf problem.

SKELETON: Sungbin Yun of South Korea confirmed his status as the favorite for the men’s title at the Pyeongchang Olympics, setting a track record at St. Moritz, Switzerland, to win his fifth World Cup race this season.


NFL: Saints receiver Brandon Coleman was declared out of Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game in Minnesota.

Coleman hasn’t practiced this week because of a neck injury.

Vic Fangio is returning to Chicago as defensive coordinator after being passed up for the head-coaching job.

Minnesota Coach Mike Zimmer said he hasn’t decided whether quarterback Sam Bradford, who has practiced the last two weeks, will be activated from the injured list.


EUROPEAN TOUR: Chris Paisley of England and Adrien Saddier of France opened up a big lead after two rounds of the South African Open at Johannesburg, moving to 13 under par and four shots clear of their nearest challengers.

Paisley hit a 7-under 65 to move up from second. Saddier had the round of the day, a blistering, course record-equaling 63 with an eagle, seven birdies and no bogeys.


SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL: Angelique Kerber of Germany won her eighth consecutive match of the new season, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final in Australia.

She will face Ashleigh Barty of Australia for the title.