March 29, 2023

THE BALL – Gaining strength for the 2030 World Cup in Portugal, Spain and Morocco (FPF)

Morocco is negotiating to enter the Iberian bid for the 2030 World Cup, replacing Ukraine. This “Ukrainian” possibility, grandly announced last October in Nyon, was greatly compromised by the arrest, for corruption, of Andriy Pavelco, president of the Ukrainian Football Federation, who signed the protocol with Fernando Gomes and Luis Rubiales at headquarters of UEFA, before President Ceferin, and also because it is impossible, at the moment, to formulate a possible horizon for the end of the war caused by the Russian invasion.

With the award of the 2030 World Cup scheduled for 2024, the issue of Ukraine’s condition to host some matches of FIFA’s biggest competition has become a major concern, among others. In this sense, and when there are joint nominations from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece, on the one hand, and Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay, on the other, the possible replacement of Ukraine by Morocco in ” ticket”. of Portugal and Spain may give a new and decisive boost to the chances of the FPF, RFEF and FMF, which will maintain territorial cohesion and remove the political weight behind Ukraine’s entry into the fray.

There has been talk, because Morocco is part of CAF and Portugal and Spain of UEFA, of a statutory weakness of FIFA regarding joint organizations of countries from different Confederations. However, this legal hurdle, proposed at all “fora”, is nothing more than an urban myth. Proof of this is that the next Women’s World Cup, which will be held, with the presence of Portugal, between July 20 and August 20, will be held in New Zealand (which is part of the OFC, Oceania Football Confederation) and Australia, (which belongs to ASEAN, the Asian Football Confederation), i.e. there was no statutory obstacle to FIFA regarding this joint nomination.

The same is not the case with the candidacy of Greece (UEFA), Egypt (CAF) and Saudi Arabia (AFC/WAFF), due to a condition of the FIFA statutes, which is not about the plurality of confederations, but about the inability of the same confederation to host a World Cup again without going through two cycles. As Qatar (AFC/WAFF) hosted the 2022 World Cup, it is only in 2034 that an AFC/WAFF country can be a candidate, unless, however, FIFA changes the statutory rule that establishes this period of obnoxiousness.

With Morocco entering the Iberian candidacy, not only will there be a split of CAF votes (assuming the candidacy where Egypt is accepted) – the Moroccan Federation is an influential CAF member, which is worth 54 electoral votes – how will possible to keep the 2030 World Cup in June/July, while a World Cup would have to be played with matches in Egypt, similar to what happened in Qatar, in November/December, which would be particularly unpleasant for European clubs.

The data is thus thrown out, with a different hypothesis (Morocco instead of Ukraine), for an Iberian candidacy with a better chance of success. There will be official news on this situation soon, mainly because we are just over a year away from making the final decision on who will host the 2030 World Cup.

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