Morocco will join Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the 2030 World Cup, the African nation announced Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
The announcement, which raises further doubts over Ukraine’s participation in the bid, was made through a statement signed by King Mohammed VI and read at a meeting of the Confederation of African Football.
“The Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” the statement said. “This joint bid, which is unprecedented in football history, 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.”
Morocco committed to taking part in the 2030 contest more than four years ago, immediately after losing the vote for the 2026 tournament. It was in talks with the Iberian nations for a while but had never been officially included in the bid.
Spain and Portugal were joined last October in their longstanding European candidacy by Ukraine, which is not likely to remain in the bid.
The Spanish soccer federation did not immediately confirm Morocco in the bid, saying the federations from the three nations would meet Wednesday in Rwanda before announcing any possible changes.
Morocco, which finished in a stunning fourth place at the World Cup in Qatar, hosted FIFA’s Club World Cup in February.
READ ALSO: Morocco is first African nation to reach FIFA World Cup semifinals
The 2030 World Cup hosts are expected to be picked in September next year. The co-hosting bids from South America and Europe have been the expected favorites, with speculation about a Saudi-led and unprecedented three-continent project.
The inaugural 1930 World Cup host, Uruguay, is part of a centenary bid with Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.
The United States, Canada and Mexico are hosting the 2026 tournament.
Arakunrin Lekan is a Managing Editor & Writer at theafricandream.net. He’s also a Graphics Designer and a Poet.