The bid by Morocco, Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup continues to take shape. The three countries are working closely together to shape the Ibero-Moroccan bid to host the World Cup and more details are emerging.
The North African country would contribute six stadiums to the bid, located in Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier, Marrakech, Agadir and Fez. While Spain would have the largest number with nine, as it has a larger number of football infrastructures, and Portugal would contribute three football grounds. Therefore, it is an important bet by the three nations to be able to definitively take over the organisation of the World Cup, something to which other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Greece and Egypt aspire, although with regard to the Saudi kingdom it may be complicated because the last World Cup was also held in the Middle East, in Qatar, and it is not foreseeable to repeat the geographical area in principle.
According to information, Casablanca would host seven matches in the brand new Grand Stadium of Casablanca, with a capacity of 93,000 spectators, Rabat six, in the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium with a capacity of 53,000 spectators, Tangier five with the Ibn Battouta stadium with a capacity of 68,000 spectators, Marrakech also five with a 70,000 capacity stadium, and Agadir another five, while Fez, with a 46,000 capacity stadium, will host four matches.
Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the committee in charge of Morocco's bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, recently unveiled the Moroccan kingdom's plan to modernise its sports stadiums and bring them up to international standards. The also president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) said that five stadiums will be renovated and the Grand Stadium of Casablanca, which has always been a great aspiration, will be built, with this magnificent infrastructure planned to hold 93,000 spectators.
In the event of finally being awarded the 2030 World Cup, Morocco would continue to reap sporting success, in this case at international level. Just after the good news that has meant for the North African country the fact of having recently been designated to host the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2025, just 37 years after its last appearance as host.
Until that big event arrives, Morocco must play the 2023 CAN, which will be held in Côte d'Ivoire from 11 January to 13 February 2024, thus recovering its usual dates, which were altered due to the World Cup in Qatar. The draw will be made on 12 October and Morocco will be hoping for a better tournament than in 2021 when they lost in the quarter-finals to Egypt. Another good result is expected in this case after the milestone achieved at the World Cup in Qatar, where Morocco reached the semi-finals, the first Arab and African team to reach this round in history.
Morocco, Spain and Portugal have already held meetings at the level of the presidents of the football federations of the three countries to define the details of the tripartite bid to host the World Cup.
Meanwhile, a vote is still awaited to determine who will host the 2030 World Cup. The 211 federations that make up the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) have the right to vote and the bid with the most votes will win the right to officially host the World Cup. The bid with a margin of more than 50 votes over the runner-up will win. If in the first round no one has such a lead, the candidate with the least number of votes will be eliminated and a new ballot will be held. This will continue until there are only two candidates left and they compete to see who has the most votes.
The candidates themselves and other countries with special ties to the candidates present will be excluded from the vote. Russia is also expected to be vetoed over its invasion of Ukraine.
The pre-2030 World Cup, the 2026 World Cup, will be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico and will have 16 stadiums, so the Ibero-Moroccan bid would provide even more stadiums, which shows the size of the proposal from Morocco, Spain and Portugal.
Morocco is participating with six stadiums in the bid to host the 2030 World Cup, which would host 32 of the 104 matches in the competition, i.e. 31% of the total number of matches to be played.
During the group stage, 72 matches will be played and each of the 18 stadiums would host four matches. Consequently, the matches in this round will be distributed as follows, with Spain playing 36 matches, Morocco 24 and Portugal 12.
As for the round of 32, the matches will be distributed as follows: for Spain eight matches, for Morocco five and for Portugal three.
In the Round of 16, Spain will have four matches and Morocco and Portugal two.
In the quarter-finals, Spain will host two matches and Morocco and Portugal one each.
Meanwhile, the semi-final matches would be played at the Grand Stadium in Casablanca, the match for third and fourth place at the Camp Nou in Barcelona and the final at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid in Spain.
The opening match would also be played at the Grand Stade de Casablanca.