By Andrew Warshaw
July 6 – Morocco’s unexpected recent announcement that it will bid for the 2030 World Cup despite five previous failures can be explained by the fact that it will almost certainly be a joint effort with its north African neighbours.
The Moroccans appear to have got the message – after their crushing defeat in the race for 2026 World Cup – that they are unlikely to gain enough support to stage an expanded 48-team finals on their own.
The Moroccans are still digesting the margin of defeat at last month’s 2026 vote and it came as a surprise when they quickly signalled their intention to have yet another crack. Now we perhaps know why.
Reports suggest both Tunisia and Algeria would be receptive to the idea of a joint North African bid for 2030 even though they would in all likelihood be up against a strong joint Argentina-Uruguay-Paraguay bid to host what would be the centenary of the first World Cup, staged by Uruguay in 1930. Europe is also seriously considering throwing its hat into the ring.
Algeria’s sports minister announced earlier this week that his country is to study whether a bid is feasible.
Mohamed Hattab told reporters: “When we look at our cities, with the sporting and cultural facilities present, we are able to consider that we can host major world events.”
Meanwhile, the president of the Tunisia Football Federation Wadie Jary commented: “We haven’t received any official offers, but we’re open to the idea and would like to see it happen.”
Although relations between Morocco and Algeria are tense (the land border is still closed), Algeria voted for its neighbour for 2026 and as the US-Canada-Mexico partnership demonstrated, sharing the World Cup can have a significant diplomatic knock-on effect.
More importantly, it helps spread costs around and in the case of 2030 would enable the three African countries to share the expense of putting on the tournament as well as reduce the number of new stadiums that would need to be built.
FIFA are unlikely to select the 2030 hosts until after the 2022 tournament in Qatar but a joint bid with its neighbours represents the only realistic way Morocco is likely to achieve its goal after so many rebuttals.
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