Only one day after Morocco, Spain, and Portugal were named joint hosts of the 2030 World Cup, an unexpected development surfaced, revealing potential problems in the hosting arrangements, with both countries claiming the right to stage the final.
The deciding factor seems to be the coveted distinction of hosting the final match. Miquel Iceta, Spain’s Sports Minister, took to Onda Cero radio, expressing hope about Spain being chosen as the final venue. In his own words, he agreed that it’s best not to “count your chickens before they hatch,” but he plainly favors Spain as the final destination.
Meanwhile, Fouzi Lekjaa, the head of Morocco’s football federation, had a different perspective. He firmly asserted his ambition for the final to unfold in Casablanca, articulating his hopes for the nation’s tireless efforts to culminate in a historic final at Casablanca Stadium. His enthusiasm was palpable as he conveyed his aspirations during a conversation on Radio Mars.
The sudden announcement made by FIFA gave this story an unexpected turn. FIFA chose Morocco, Spain, and Portugal as the co-hosts of the 2030 World Cup, moving up the decision-making process by a year from the original schedule.
Additionally, to commemorate the tournament’s centenary, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay were chosen to host three matches. Argentina, not to be left out, expressed a desire to have a more significant role, hinting at the possibility of hosting more than just the solitary opening match that had been assigned to them.
Beyond the realm of sports, the backdrop of longstanding disputes over migration and territory between Spain and Morocco added an intriguing layer to this story. Diplomatic tensions had frequently arisen due to Spain’s enclaves in Africa and the influx of thousands of illegal migrants from Morocco into Spain on an annual basis.
However, a noteworthy development occurred last year when Madrid aligned itself more closely with Morocco’s stance on Western Sahara, a contested territory that Rabat claims as its own, while the Algeria-backed Polisario Front seeks independence.
As the narrative unfolds, the three co-hosts, Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, are scheduled to convene on October 18 in Rabat to deliberate on the logistics of the World Cup matches. With six Moroccan cities earmarked as match venues, collaboration among the federations is evident. Minister Iceta underscored this collaboration, emphasizing an advanced agreement on the allocation of matches.