In an unprecedented move in the history of world football, Morocco has teamed up with Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the FIFA 2030 Men’s World Cup.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has endorsed the North African country’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup alongside neighbours Spain and Portugal. The announcement to bring the World Cup back to Africa follows a historic performance by the Atlas Lions at the 2022 World Cup.
Morocco’s national team defeated Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages in Qatar, becoming the first African country to reach a semifinal of the global soccer showpiece.
The Sports Minister of Morocco, Mr Chakib Benmoussa, confirmed the development on Tuesday, saying it had been given the thumbs up by King Mohammed VI. “I would like to announce that the Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” he read the letter at the Confederation of African Football President’s Outstanding Achievement Awards in Kigali, Rwanda.
Earlier indications were that Ukraine would join the two European countries for a three-way alliance. However, the 2022 World Cup semi-finalists, who are also in the running to host the 2025 AFCON, Morocco had long committed to taking part in the 2030 bid more than four years ago, immediately after losing the vote for the 2026 tournament.
Mr Benmoussa called the historic bid “unprecedented in football history” as it will “bring together Africa and Europe, the northern and southern Mediterranean, and the African, Arab and Euro-Mediterranean worlds.
“It will also bring out the best in all of us – in effect, a combination of genius, creativity, experience and means,” he said. The first Men’s World Cup hosted across two countries was the 2002 version in South Korea and Japan. Canada, America and Mexico are due to co-host the World Cup in 2026.
Should the Morocco bid be successful, it will be the second time the World Cup comes to Africa. South Africa were the first African country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
In February this year, Morocco successfully hosted the FIFA World Club Cup. The 2030 World Cup hosts are expected to be picked in September 2024.