Morocco set to replace Ukraine in Spain-Portugal 2030 FIFA World Cup bid
Morocco is set to replace Ukraine and join Spain and Portugal in their joint bid to host 2030 FIFA World Cup.
An initial Spain, Portugal and Ukraine bid was packed by UEFA last October seven months after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The bid was aiming to capitalize on the power of football to contribute to the recovery of a country undergoing reconstruction according to the Portuguese FA.
However, The Athletic reported that the likelihood of Ukraine recovering to host the FIFA World Cup group-stage games in seven years is looking very slim.
According to The Athletic, the war against Russia, that’s still ongoing, making it very difficult for Ukraine to join the European bid due to the devastation across caused across the country.
Moreover, Ukrainian FA President Andriy Pavelko was arrested last November over fraud and money-laundry allegations which caused more uncertainty at the top of the FA.
The Athletic reported that Morocco are set to replace Ukraine due to the proximity between Spain and Morocco which makes the partnership more practical, with a joint European-African bid is also seen as a potential vote winner.
This will be the sixth time that Morocco bid to host the FIFA World Cup after five previous unsuccessful attempts in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2026.
The Spain-Portugal-Morocco bid will face competition from two more joint bids: A bid from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece as well as a joint South American bid involving Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay.
The 2030 hosts will be announced at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024.
The 2030 FIFA World Cup will be the second edition to feature 48 teams after 2026 which will be the first to take place in three countries, USA, Canada and Mexico.