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Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan Joint Role In 2030 World Cup Bid

After an inspiring performance during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Morocco joins Spain and Portugal’s bid to host the 2030 tournament. If successful, this will be the first time European and African countries co-host the World Cup. The host is expected to be chosen by the FIFA Congress in the third quarter of 2024.

Mohammed VI, The King of Morocco has announced this week that his country is joining Spain and Portugal to submit a three-way bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, replacing Ukraine that was initially planned.

The news has been released amidst an event held earlier this week in Kigali, and attended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee, CAF member association presidents and the president of FIFA Gianni Infantino.

“A very important message to the world, to Europe and Africa,” declared the Portuguese Prime Minister, “it puts this bid in a better position to win this race,” added the Spanish Prime Minister

In a joint news conference, both Prime Ministers of Portugal and Spain, Antonio Costa and Pedro Sanchez, praised this joint bid. “This bid has a very positive charge and sends a very important message to the world, to Europe and Africa, that we are two neighbouring continents that want to work together,” hailed Costa, while Sanchez declared: “We must be pleased with this decision, because it puts this bid in a better position to win this race.”

Only one edition of the FIFA World Cup has been held in Africa, South Africa 2010. Morocco launched a bid to host the 2010 tournament, losing in the last round; one example in a line of unsuccessful bids.

Previous hosting bids have included the 1994 and 2006 World Cups, and most recently the 2026 World Cup which is to be hosted by the USA, Mexico and Canada.

What could change this time?

By associating with two major football countries, Spain and Portugal, who hold great experience in organizing major international events, Morocco enhances their chances. First, giving a bicontinental dimension to this competition. A critical detail, as attributing the competition is a matter of votes.

The African and European football federations represent 109 votes, out of 211. On paper it is already quite a success.

Secondly, the three countries are also major tourist destinations, with 84 million tourists visiting Spain every year, 23 million for Portugal and 13 million for Morocco. The three countries are also interconnected. The strait of Gibraltar is only 14km long, with hundreds of ferry boats crossing every day in less than one hour.

Last but not least, Spain and Portugal are major teams. The Spanish La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Portugal gave birth to one of football's most famous players, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Morocco holds currently the best African football team in the FIFA rankings. Morocco’s ranking backed up by their World Cup semi-final run in Qatar last December, surprising the global football community. This was the first time that an African and Arab country reached that level of the competition.

What are the chances?

The chances so far are high. This would be the first World Cup in western Europe in 25 years, and almost 18 teams out of 48 to compete for the 2030 World Cup will come from Western and Central Europe. And this proximity will help European football supporters remobilize for their teams. According to the FIFA Website, out of 2.45 million supporters who attended the Qatar 2022 World Cup, only one Western Europe country, The United Kingdom, appears in the top five country’s applications for Fan IDs.

The three-way unprecedented bid faces competition from other important notable bids, such as the Saudi Arabia, Greece and Egypt joints bid, involving three continental football federations as well as a cross South American bid, involving Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile which strives to celebrate the centenarian of the first FIFA World Cup, held in Paraguay in 1930. The final host is expected to be chosen in the third quarter of 2024, by the Fifa congress, that gathers the representatives of the 211 federations members of the FIFA.


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