FIFA made a surprise announcement on the afternoon of 4 October 2023 about which countries will host the 2030 World Cup. Gianni Infantino first announced the name of Morocco, along with Spain and Portugal. With a year's notice, European football's governing body solved a major problem and left everyone happy.
South America's bid was weak in terms of economy and infrastructure, but it had the weight of the fact that Uruguay was crowned the first world champion in the Centenario stadium on 30 July 1930 with a 4-2 win over Argentina. FIFA decided to honour this moment and give Uruguay the chance to kick off on home soil by inaugurating the centenary event. Argentina will also see the Albiceleste make their home debut, in this case, because football is almost a religion in that country. Paraguay's miracle has a name of its own, Alejandro Domínguez, the Paraguayan is president of CONMEBOL and has an important weight within FIFA. It was he who personally called Florentino Pérez in 2018 to bring the Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors to the Santiago Bernabéu. Thanks to Domínguez, South America gets these three matches, although he did not get Chile to host because no stadium met the requirements.
The remaining 101 matches will be played in Europe and Africa. Morocco had lost five times in the race to host a World Cup, most recently to the United States and Canada in 2026, before being eliminated in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2018. The African votes and Spain's ability to organise major events made it the perfect bid alongside Portugal in March 2023. Ukraine also had a chance to take part, but corruption scandals and war meant it lost out.
Mohamed VI celebrated the title on social media in a difficult year for the country after the dramatic earthquake in Marrakech. Now comes an intense year of negotiation before Spain submits a final dossier to FIFA in December 2024 on the distribution of venues. It is already known that the final will be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on 14 July 2030 and that one of the semi-finals could be held at the new Camp Nou, now under construction. This is where Morocco comes in, having already asked to host the two semi-finals and to host up to six of the 48 participating teams.
Morocco's sporting future is bright on the horizon with the Africa Cup in 2025, the Arab Cup of Nations in 2029 and the World Cup in 2030. The Moroccan bid is for the 93,000-capacity Grand Stadium in Casablanca where up to seven matches could be played. Six more in Rabat, in the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium with a capacity of 53,000 spectators. Tangier will host five matches in the 68,000-seater Ibn Battouta stadium, Marrakech five matches in a 70,000-seater stadium, Agadir five matches, while Fez, with a 46,000-capacity football pitch, will host four matches in the round of 16 or quarter-finals.
Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the committee in charge of Morocco's bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, will have to negotiate with the next president of the RFEF who emerges from the elections in the first quarter of 2024 and stabilises the organisation after the recent scandals.
A historic World Cup for Morocco, which will see the fruits of the work it has put in with its national team at all levels. The fourth place in Qatar is an incentive to continue with the projection of its stars.
FIFA thus protects itself from Saudi Arabia, who also asked for this World Cup. The option was impossible because they came from Qatar and the United States, but now everything indicates that in 2034 they will host the World Cup ahead of a supposed bid from Oceania.