Morocco put name in FIFA 2030 show hat


Morocco joins World Cup bid Image: Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, KSKB1935, CC BY-SA 4.0

Morocco is set to join Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the FIFA 2030 Men’s World Cup, apparently replacing Ukraine in a three-way alliance with the two European nations.

‘CNN’ stated that Ukraine said it would team up with Spain and Portugal in a joint bid last October, but Morocco’s announcement suggests it will no longer be part of the process.

The 2030 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 24th FIFA World Cup™, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. The event will mark the centennial of the first World Cup.

‘CNN’ further stated that Morocco’s Sport Minister Chakib Benmoussa an unveiled detail of the North African nation’s bid recently, citing a letter from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

He read from the letter, “I would like to announce that the Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.”

Speaking at the Confederation of African Football President’s Outstanding Achievement Awards in Kigali, Rwanda, Benmoussa called the bid “unprecedented in football history”.

He pointed out that it 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.”

The new alliance adds another transcontinental bid to the process, alongside a three-way deal between Greece, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a separate joint bid from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile.

Countries teaming up to hold the World Cup are not unprecedented, with Canada, America and Mexico due to co-host the World Cup in 2026. Japan also collaborated with South Korea in staging the 2002 chapter.

Morocco’s announcement comes on the heels of its historic performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup™, the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. It will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico and will be held from June 11th-July 19th, 2026.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ was an international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of FIFA’s member-associations and the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup™. It took place in Qatar from November 20th to December 18th, 2022, making it the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the Muslim world, and the second held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

The Atlas Lions, the nickname of Morocco’s national team, defeated both Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages in Qatar on their way to becoming the first African and first Arab country to ever reach a World Cup semifinal.

Fatigued Footballers

Meanwhile, the 2026 men’s FIFA World Cup tournament will have a format of 12 groups of four teams, the soccer’s world governing body announced on March 14th.

The FIFA Council unanimously approved the format change to 12 groups of four instead of the 16 groups of three to lessen “the risk of collusion and ensure that all the teams play a minimum of three matches, while providing balanced rest time between competing teams.”

The top two teams from each group and the eight best third-place teams will advance to the round of 32. The move expands the competition from its projected 80 matches to a record 104.

The 2026 men’s World Cup will be the first edition to have 48 teams and to be played in three countries – Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The March 14th announcement comes at a time when players are increasingly being tasked with playing more games at the top level.

Following the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League club Manchester United F.C. defender Raphaël Varane retired from international soccer citing unprecedented workload demands.

The former France international stated, “The very highest level is like a washing machine, you play all the time and you never stop.”

The 29-year-old continued, “We have overloaded schedules and play non-stop. Right now, I feel like I’m suffocating and that the player is gobbling up the man.”

In a recent report produced by the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO), 64 players who featured at the 2022 World Cup voiced their opinion on increased workload.

The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) is the worldwide representative organization for 65,000 professional footballers.

Over half (53 percent) reported an injury or felt more likely to suffer an injury as a result of the congested calendar, while 44 percent said they experienced extreme or increased physical fatigue compared to how they would feel in January during a normal season.

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