Lisbon hosted a new meeting between Morocco, Spain and Portugal to prepare for the next World Cup in 2030 as host countries.
Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), Pedro Rocha, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and Fernando Gomes, president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), held a meeting in the Lisbon capital on Wednesday to continue defining the details of the next World Cup.
This was the second meeting of the top national football officials of each country, after the one held in Las Rozas, Madrid. Although it was the first meeting held since the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) awarded the organisation of the World Cup to the bid made up of the three nations.
According to an official FRMF communiqué, the organisers agreed that this Ibero-Moroccan bid aims to organise the "best World Cup in history".
During the meeting, held at the headquarters of the Portuguese Football Federation, in the Cidade do Futebol, it was decided to present the letter of intent to host the World Cup on 28 October, thus fulfilling one of the requirements of the bidding process vis-à-vis FIFA.
According to the FRMF, this will be the first step towards the formalisation of the joint bid and will demonstrate the commitment of Morocco, Portugal and Spain to organise a successful World Cup.
This procedure will take place in Rabat and will be followed by a press conference attended by the presidents of the three federations, according to the FRMF.
The 2030 World Cup bid committee has also continued its work, holding another follow-up meeting in Madrid on Wednesday, as officially reported. The technical committee meeting in Madrid has practically finalised the distribution of venues for Spain, Morocco and Portugal. The three federations have decided that the World Cup will be played, in principle, in 18 venues. These will be distributed as follows: 10 venues will be in Spain, five will be for Morocco and three for Portugal, according to AS. As for the stadium that will host the World Cup final, Morocco's desire to host the game has not been supported by the other two partners, who believe that the Santiago Bernabeu stadium should be the venue for the final, according to AS.
In this way, Morocco continues on the good path of great international presence in the world of sport at all levels. The North African country enjoys an important global relevance, boosted after the great performance of the Moroccan national team in the last World Cup in Qatar, where the North African team reached the semi-finals, something that no African and Arab team had ever achieved before. In addition to the 2030 World Cup, the Moroccan kingdom is also scheduled to host the 35th edition of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, 37 years after its last hosting appearance, and the 2029 Arab Cup of Nations.
The North African country also bid to host the 2029 Club World Cup. Fouzi Lekjaa said in an interview with Asharq Sports that "in 2029, Morocco, Spain and Portugal will jointly organise the Club World Cup not only to test, but to confirm that they are ready a year earlier to host the World Cup".
Morocco continues to assert itself at international level and shows the great performance that has even led the country to recover quickly from the terrible earthquake of 6.8 on the Richter scale suffered on 8 September, which devastated several enclaves such as Al-Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Ouarzazate, Marrakech and Casablanca. The recent event held in Marrakech on the occasion of the Annual Assemblies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which took place from 9 to 15 October in the Moroccan city, was an example of this.
Morocco continues to demonstrate its great diplomatic and economic strength despite various setbacks thanks to the development model implemented under the directives of King Mohammed VI, who, since ascending the throne in 1999, has set out a development programme in many areas that has modernised the country. This includes, of course, the field of sports.
The Moroccan state has invested in the development of numerous sports infrastructures that have served to train many young Moroccans in various sporting disciplines, including football, with the Mohammed VI Football Academy, located in Salé, as a great exponent. Important current Moroccan national team players such as Youssef En-Nesyri, Nayef Aguerd and Azzedine Ounahi trained at this prestigious training centre and have contributed to the recent successes of Moroccan national football.