UEFA and CAF back Morocco's bid to host World Cup 2030

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have announced their support for Morocco’s bid with Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup 2030, the first African-European bid in the history of the tournament.

On Wednesday, Alexander Cheferin, President of the UEFA, announced immediately after a renewal of confidence for his new term at the head of the Union, his support for Morocco’s accession to the bid of Spain and Portugal, adding that the union’s members will work together to ensure the win of Rabat-Madrid-Lisbon bid.

For its part, CAF announced on an online panel Wednesday that all its members support the candidacy of Morocco to be the second African country to host the international competition.

Rabat joined the bid officially last month in a royal announcement read by Morocco’s Sports Minister Chakib Benmoussa at a sports event in Rwanda.

This bid marks Morocco’s sixth attempt to host the competition. The North African kingdom submitted a bid every time since it became eligible in 1994.

Rabat was reportedly in talks with the Iberian nations for a while but had never been officially included in the bid.

The Spanish-Moroccan political reconciliation last year reportedly played a key role in easing the talks.

Last October, Ukraine said it would team up with Spain and Portugal in a joint bid, but Morocco’s announcement suggests it will no longer be part of the process.

Reports say an alleged corruption scandal involving the Ukrainian football federation might be behind Kyiv’s dropping out of the bid.

Morocco’s announcement comes on the heels of its historic performance at the 2022 World Cup.

The Atlas Lions defeated Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages in Qatar on their way to becoming the first African and Arab country to reach the semifinals of the World Cup.

Rabat is expected to capitalise on its experience with hosting FIFA’s Club World Cup this year and the Moroccan fans’ ear-splitting energy that stunned the world in Qatar’s tournament.

The bid faces heavy competition, especially as Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have prepared their joint bid, capitalising on the fact that the 2030 edition will mark the tournament’s 100th anniversary. Uruguay hosted the first-ever World Cup in 1930.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece are also reportedly preparing a bid of their own.

The 2030 World Cup hosts are expected to be picked in September 2024. The co-hosting bids from South America and Europe have been the expected favourites.

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