When South Africa hosted the 19th FIFA World Cup in 2010, it was the very first time that the prestigious football tournament had ever come to Africa.
Morocco is looking to come in second place to South Africa as it has set about petitioning to host the 23rd edition of the tournament come 2026. An interview with the Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sports, Moncef Belkhayat, by Le Figaro, saw the minister revealing that Morocco was aiming for two things – to be in the World Cup in 2026 and to host the tournament.
The new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, seems to be in support of Morocco’s ambitions as he has said that the country has the infrastructure and organizational capacity to host the World Cup.
Another additional nod came from CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, who expressed his support for Morocco saying that CAF was convinced the country could successfully organize the competition just as South Africa did in 2010. It was certainly a different picture from what happened in 2004 when CAF wasn’t sure about which African country to support for the 2010 World Cup hosting rights.
This will not be Morocco’s first petition for rights to host the FIFA World cup. The country lost bids in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, making it the only country in the history of the tournament to have launched the most bids without ever winning the hosting rights.
Hopefully, that track record will change in 2020 when the final decision will be made. Till then, you can join in the support for Morocco 2026 through the Facebook page.
The country does seem to be in a good place to host such a massive event considering a flourishing partnership with China which is fostering some strong industrial gains in the country.