By: Gyang Dakwo
Morocco has been backed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to form part of a joint bid with Spain and Portugal for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, while Egypt has decided against joining a rival proposal.
The CAF has officially endorsed Morocco’s candidacy after staging an online meeting where all members of the continental body pledged their support.
Morocco has stepped in as a joint bidder with Spain and Portugal after Ukraine pulled out due to the war with Russia and governance concerns in its Football Association.
The endorsement by the CAF is a further boost for the application after the UEFA already backed Spain and Portugal last year when they joined forces with Ukraine.
“The unanimous decision that was taken by the CAF Executive Committee to support Morocco’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030 means that the bid of Morocco is now the bid of the African continent,” said CAF President Patrice Motsepe.
“We are now focusing on ensuring that Africa once more hosts the FIFA World Cup and are committed to working together with all Football National Associations and Confederations to make this happen.”
Morocco is separated from the Iberian countries only by the Strait of Gibraltar and had previously considered a bid for the 2030 tournament, potentially with Tunisia and Algeria.
The North African nation made a record five unsuccessful bids for 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, and 2026 editions.
The men’s national team eliminated both Spain and Portugal on the way to the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
A South American bid including Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile is set to rival the Iberian bid.
Saudi Arabia had hoped to lead a joint proposal with Greece and Egypt but the bid suffered a setback after the latter pulled out.
Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy told the media that the country was not planning to submit an application to stage the World Cup in seven years’ time.
The decision is set to add further weight to the Spain-Portugal-Morocco 2030 bid as it looks set to gain 54 votes from Africa along with 55 from Europe.
A host for the 2030 World Cup is expected to be decided at next year’s FIFA Congress.