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AFCON 2025: Morocco is home away from home for African teams




Morocco has always been the ultimate destination in Africa for football tourists and major competitions. Even before their spectacular run at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Morocco had played major role in the qualifying series.

In the run-up to Qatar 2022, many African countries with lower standard in stadium facilities  ceded their home games to Morocco.

This is easily noticed in November 2022 when a five-day seven-match festival of World Cup qualifying matches were played in Morocco.

The series involved 10 countries, thus turning Morocco to become the preferred destination for African sports events due to its world-class infrastructure. The encounters were:

  • Morocco faced Sudan on Friday 12 November 2021 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Complex in Rabat at 8:00 p.m. Sudan was the home team, playing Morocco in Morocco.
  • Also on Friday 12 November 2021, Burkina Faso played Niger at Grand Stadium in Marrakech at 2:00 p.m. Burkina Faso was the home team.
  • On Saturday 13 November 2021 in Group C, Liberia played against Nigeria  in Tangier Grand Stadium at 5:00 p.m. Liberia Liberia was the home team.
  • The next day, Sunday 14 November, it was the turn of Mali facing Uganda on at Agadir Grand Stadium before facing their Central African Republic counterpart on 16 November 2021  in Tangier at 5:00 p.m
  • On Monday 15 November 2021, Guinea Bissau and Sudan in Group E faced off at the  Marrakech Grand Stadium at 5:00 p.m.
  • The encounter between Morocco and Guinea took  place at 8:00 p.m. on 16 November 2021 at Mohammed V Sports Complex in Casablanca.

Before the November 2021 feast of football, Morocco had previously hosted eight African qualifying matches for Qatar World Cup 2022, from  October 12 to 16 in 2021.

If the seven matches are added to the eight Morocco had earlier hosted within the qualifying series for Qatar 2022, the country is on record as having most Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.  


Having played hosts to many African countries, Morocco is bidding to host the 24-nation Africa Cup of Nations in 2025 after the initial rights to Guinea were withdrawn.

According to official documents, CAF is asking for six stadiums from the bidding countries.

Two of the stadiums must have capacity for 40,000 crowd. Two others are to have 20,000 capacity while another set of two must have 15,000 capacity.

Morocco  have stadiums that overwhelmingly have capacities way above what CAF has asked for.

The Grand Stade d’Agadir is a capacity of 45,480, thus having a surplus capacity of 5,480. The Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in  Rabat has capacity for 52,000 which is 12,000 more than the requirement.


The Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, currently co-hosting the FIFA Club World Cup with the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, is even more breathtaking.

It’s capacity of  65,000 means that the stadium has 25,000 capacity more than requirement. The Grand Stade d’ Marrakech holds 45,240 in its rectangular bowel. This is 4,524 more than the uppermost requirement that CAF is asking for.

The 45,000 capacity Hassan II stadium also exceeds the maximum requirement from CAF, so also that of the 65,000 capacity Stade Mohammed in Casablanca.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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