Morocco teams up with Spain and Portugal to host 2030 World Cup
Morocco has joined Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
Ukraine was originally part of the bid, but now appears to have been replaced.
Morocco have said they will bid for the 2030 World Cup in July 2018, after five previous failed attempts to host the tournament – 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2026. If successful in 2030, it would be the first country to host World Cup matches. in North Africa.
Spain, Portugal and Ukraine’s bid was backed by European football’s governing body UEFA and announced in October, more than seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine. .
The move was sanctioned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the Portuguese Football Federation said at the time that the bid “aims to contribute, through football, to the recovery of a country in reconstruction”.
The war against Russia is still ongoing, however, with a new wave of missile strikes this week, causing havoc across the country.
The likelihood of Ukraine returning to hosting World Cup group stage matches in seven years’ time looks increasingly dim.
There is also uncertainty at the top of the Ukrainian FA, following the arrest of President Andriy Pavelko in November on allegations of fraud and money laundering. Pavelko has denied any wrongdoing.
The proximity between Spain and Morocco makes the partnership more convenient as only eight miles separate the two countries at the closest point. There are 1,000 miles between Ukraine and Spain while Portugal is even further.
The Moroccan FA is also a member of CAF (Confederation of African Football) and a joint Euro-African bid is seen as a potential vote winner.
The 2030 hosts will be selected at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024.
A Portugal-Spain-Morocco offer is expected to face competition from two other bundled offers: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece, as well as a joint South American proposal involving Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.
The 2026 finals, with 48 teams instead of 32 in Qatar, will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
(Photo: Getty Images)