The 2030 World Cup will be the first to take place on multiple continents, but Casablanca in Morocco will hold the honor of the first game. A new report out of the African nation says Casablanca will beat out cities in both Spain and Portugal for that responsibility. It will be Morocco’s first time hosting a men’s World Cup. In previous years, Morocco has hosted youth World Cups, and it has long been in the running for the senior tournament.

African publication Jeune Afrique is claiming that the division of significant matches in the 2030 World Cup is already underway. With three countries hosting the World Cup for the second year in a row, each country wants as many pivotal games as possible.

The report claims that Casablanca, the largest city by population in Morocco with almost 3.5 million residents, is hosting the opening game. It will thus make Morocco the second African country to host the World Cup. That means Portugal and Spain will be left to grapple for other major games. However, Jeune Afrique states Madrid is the leading candidate to host the 2030 World Cup Final.

FIFA regulations state that the hosts of the World Cup’s opening game and the final must have a capacity of at least 80,000. Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, held just under 89,000 fans. In 2026, MetLife Stadium will host the final with a seating capacity of 82,500.

Casablanca and Madrid benefit from lavish stadiums for 2030 World Cup

As things stand, no stadium in Morocco has a capacity fitting FIFA’s parameters. That will change by 2030, as the African nation has plans to build one of the biggest stadiums in the world. The 115,000-seat stadium is going to begin construction in the coming months. It is unlikely the stadium is ready to host games for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations. However, it will be the centerpiece of the reported six venues in Morocco that will host World Cup matches.

Similar to Morocco’s situation, Portugal does not have any stadiums large enough to host the opening game or the final. This means that FIFA will use just three venues in Portugal for contests. Although merely speculation, it is likely Portugal will host several knockout stage games. That ensures equal division of games among the hosts.

That leaves the final to Madrid and Spain. The Spanish hosting group effectively had two venues to choose for the World Cup Final. Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu and Barcelona’s Camp Nou are both going to be among the most modern stadiums in the world by 2026. Real Madrid recently completed its renovation at the historic stadium. Barcelona’s Camp Nou project finishes in June 2026, well before the World Cup. However, Madrid is going to host the Final, per this report. Not only is it the country’s capital. The Santiago Bernabeu hosted the final the last time the World Cup was in Spain. Italy defeated West Germany in 1982.

South American nations still hosting select games

Adding to the spread-out nature of this World Cup in 2030, three games out of the 101 for the tournament will be in South America. Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion will host games for the tournament, and these will likely be in the group stage. Of course, each of those South American nations is likely to play a home game. However, the opposition for those games would be facing immense travel issues across the Atlantic Ocean.