Morocco’s chances to jointly host the 2030 World Cup with Spain and Portugal are facing a tough feasibility test.
Rabat – Morocco’s joint bid with Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup has received an unexpected blow after the European Union punished Spain.
According to reports from a number of European sources, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has withdrawn the 2020 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualification hosting rights from Spain for political matters.
The reports indicated that Spain does not recognize Kosovo as a nation, although the southeastern European country gained independence from Serbia in 2008.
Spain refused to play Kosovo’s national anthem in the championship nor raising its flag, and was consequently stripped of the right to host the other championship qualifier matches.
After stripping Spain of the hosting rights, UEFA decided to give Switzerland the right to host the European championship.
Spain’s position on Kosovo would likely impact its joint bid with Morocco and Portugal.
In a statement to the Spanish football news outlet, Marca, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, said that Spain would not submit a bid to host either the World Cup or the UEFA Euro without the support of the European Union or the UEFA.
However, the president of the UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, has voiced his full support to the British-Irish bid to host the 2030 World Cup, while he is completely against the cross-confederation bid between Morocco and its two European neighbors.
Unlike Ceferin, FIFA chairman Gianni Infantino has welcomed Morocco’s 2030 World Cup joint bid with the two European countries, saying that a cross-continental World Cup would fit with the driving spirit of football.
Since June 2018, international media have been speculating a possible World Cup bid between Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. The recurring argument and hope were that FIFA chairman Gianni Infantino’s supportive take on the cross-continental bid would indirectly play in its favor.