• Morocco to replace Ukraine and join Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup in 2030.
  • This is due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
  • The proximity between Spain and Morocco makes the partnership more practical.

Last October, a Spain, Portugal, and Ukraine joint bid was backed up by UEFA, European football’s governing body to host the 2030 World Cup, which was seven months after the Russia-Ukraine war. 


The Russia-Ukraine war is still ongoing with a new phase of missile attacks this week and the likelihood of Ukraine recovering to host World cup group stage matches by 2030 is increasingly slim.


However, there is a new development for Morocco to replace Ukraine and join Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup by 2030. The initial bid was authorized by Ukraine’s President and the Portuguese Football Association (PFA) which was aimed at capitalizing on the power of football to the recovery of a country undergoing reconstruction.


After five previous unsuccessful attempts to host the competition in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, and 2026, Morocco also declared it would bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup in July 2018. This is the sixth time the north African country will bid to host the games and if successful, Morocco will be the first north African country to host the World Cup tournament.


Moreso another reason that makes the partnership more practical is the proximity between Spain and Morocco as both countries are only eight miles apart, and between Ukraine and Spain, there are 1,000 miles while Portugal is even farther. 


With the Moroccan Football Association as a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a joint European-African bid is seen as a potential vote winner.


The Portugal-Spain-Morocco joint bid is likely to face competition from two more joint bids from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece, and a joint South American bid including Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.


At the 74th FIFA Congress, the selection of countries to host the 2030 World Cup will be announced in 2024.


The 2026 World Cup will feature 48 teams instead of 32 and will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The 2030 FIFA World Cup will be the second edition to feature 48 teams.


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