Morocco plan sixth World Cup bid, targeting 2030 hosting

By Andrew Warshaw

June 19 – Having been trounced in their bid to stage the 2026 World cup, a record fifth loss, Morocco are coming back for yet more – by order of the king.

“If at first you don’t succeed” seems to be the mantra yet if there was one lesson to be learned in that painful 134-65 defeat by the United States, Canada and Mexico last week, it is that very few countries can stage an expanded 48-team World Cup on their own.

Morocco clearly thinks it still can unless, of course, there are plans to share the tournament with one of its neighbours.

Confirmation of a Moroccan bid for the 2030 World Cup came from a member of the 2026 bid committee, Moncef Belkhayat.

“I’m delighted his Majesty King Mohammed VI has taken the decision to make Morocco a bid nation for World Cup 2030,” he told the BBC.

“That shows that Morocco is a country of openness, tolerance and shares values of the world, making football a key driver for social development and economic growth. It shows also our perseverance to do better and better for the sake of Morocco and worldwide football.”

Morocco’s strategy seems to be that if it presses ahead with the projects included in its 2026 bid book it could give the country a better chance of hosting. But that is somewhat flawed thinking since there is another important issue to consider: Morocco is likely to have to face even tougher opposition next time.

Given that 2030 is the centenary of FIFA’s flagship tournament, it is widely assumed that the favourites would be a joint bid from Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. But Europe, by all accounts, is also seriously considering entering the fray with Britain (not just England) potentially being put forward as a contender.

Both candidates would represent formidable opposition for Morocco which, for all its laudable arguments about passion, pedigree and legacy, is still trying to get its head round the fact that seven Arab nations and, more tellingly, a string of fellow African voters deserted them at last week’s ballot to back United for 2026.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1718474042labto1718474042ofdlr1718474042owedi1718474042sni@w1718474042ahsra1718474042w.wer1718474042dna1718474042