Morocco’s government has announced it will join Spain and Portugal in a bid to co-host men’s soccer’s 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Confirmation was made at a meeting of the regional Confederation of African Football (CAF) governing body through a statement signed off by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

The statement said: “The Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup. This joint bid, which is unprecedented in football history, will bring together Africa and Europe, the northern and southern Mediterranean, and the African, Arab, and Euro-Mediterranean worlds.

“It will also bring out the best in all of us – in effect, a combination of genius, creativity, experience, and means.”

After losing out on hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup to a joint bid from Canada, the US, and Mexico, in June 2018, Morocco immediately committed to involving itself in the 2030 rights contest. It is expected that the hosts for the 2030 tournament will be announced late next year.

This addition now means that Ukraine’s involvement in the same bid – as was officially confirmed in October – is now highly unlikely.

The news has not yet been formally announced by the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF), with the three federations meeting today (March 15) before confirming future plans. The initial Spanish and Portuguese bid was unveiled in June last year.

Last month, Morocco hosted the FIFA Club World Cup competition, but the country has never previously hosted action from a men’s FIFA World Cup.

Portugal would also be putting on a World Cup for the first time, although it did host the 2004 UEFA European Championship on its own, while Spain staged the 1982 edition of the World Cup.

At the same time as Morocco announced its involvement with the Spain-Portugal World Cup bid, King Mohammed was presented with the CAF Outstanding Achievement Award for 2022 by CAF’s president, Patrice Motsepe.

The 2030 FIFA World Cup hosts are expected to be decided in September 2024.

The Spanish and Portuguese bid will come up against a joint South American submission, involving Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay (which could also feature Bolivia).

In 1930, the first-ever FIFA World Cup was staged in Uruguay, and the desire from these South American countries is to see the event return to that country, at least in part, for its ‘Mundial Centenario’ edition.

There has also been widespread reporting that Saudi Arabia, potentially alongside Egypt and Greece, will bid to host the event.

The last FIFA World Cup took place in Qatar in November and December last year, with Argentina being crowned champions.

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