Morocco has decided to partner with Portugal and Spain in a bid to host the 2030 World Cup. The decision was revealed by King Mohammed VI at a meeting of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Along with announcing the bid, the Moroccan king also received the Outstanding Achievement Award by CAF president Dr. Patrice Motsepe.

“The Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” said the statement. “This joint bid, which is unprecedented in football history, will bring together Africa and Europe, the northern and southern Mediterranean, and the African, Arab and Euro-Mediterranean worlds. It will also bring out the best in all of us — in effect, a combination of genius, creativity, experience and means.”

Morocco replace Ukraine in the 2030 World Cup alliance

Morocco’s announcement could essentially end Ukraine’s chances of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup. The Eastern European nation previously proclaimed that they would team up with Portugal and Spain for the bid. However, it appears as if Morocco has replaced Ukraine in the partnership.

Geographically speaking, Morocco would make a bit more sense as potential co-hosts. The North African country is only separated from Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar. Ukraine, on the other hand, is significantly farther away from the two Western European nations. In fact, the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, is about 2,400 miles from the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. That is roughly the same distance from Phoenix to New York in the United States,

African nation back after failed 2026 bid

Morocco has wanted to be in the running to co-host the 2030 World Cup ever since losing the 2026 bid. The United States, Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 version of the tournament.

While King Mohammed VI has declared the official joint-bid, Spain has not yet confirmed the move. According to the AP, the three potential co-hosts for the 2030 World Cup will meet on Wednesday to address the bid.

The hosts for the 2030 World Cup are expected to be chosen in September of 2024. Morocco, Portugal and Spain will face competition from the South American contingent of Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.