FIFA president, Gianni Infantino in Marrakesh, Morocco for the latest of FIFA’s executive summits for regional federations is expected to receive an update on Morocco’s plan to organise the 2030 World Cup with Spain and Portugal.
Unconfirmed reports say the FIFA president has no objections to what would be the tournament’s first ever cross-continental edition.
The FIFA Statutes do not prevent the World Cup from taking place on two continents simultaneously and having lost five times, Morocco is taking the gamble of lining up with Europe’s Iberian neighbours. In November, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and his Portuguese counterpart, Antonio Costa, expressed their enthusiasm for the idea.
Although nothing firm has been decided it is an open secret that South America would be favourites to host the tournament with Uruguay teaming up with Argentina and Paraguay to commemorate the centenary of the World Cup’s inaugural edition in 1930 in Uruguay.
But they could face strong opposition from Britain and the Republic of Ireland who are considering making a joint bid, with an ongoing feasibility study likely to be wrapped up by the end of this month or early February.
An unlikely joint bid from Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania has also been floated with the final vote likely to take place ahead of the 2022 finals in Qatar.
The waters have been somewhat muddied by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin’s stated keenness for Europe to put forward a single bid, which would mean either the UK-Ireland or Spain-Portugal almost certainly having to abandon any hosting plans.
The 2030 World Cup will not of course be the only issue that will be discussed in Marrakech, nor the only one that FIFA and UEFA disagree on.
Infantino’s much-publicised controversial plan for an expanded Club World Cup and revamped Nations League seems almost certain to be addressed, with a final decision on the contentious $25 billion project set for mid-March.