The hotel where the delegation of the African Football Confederation (CAF) is staying in Kigali (Rwanda) was the setting chosen by Morocco to announce that it joins the candidacy of Spain and Portugal to organize the 2030 World Cup. I announce before your assembly that the Kingdom of Morocco has decided, with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint candidacy to host the 2030 World Cup,” announced the Moroccan monarch, Mohamed VI, in a message read by the Minister of Education and Sports , Chakib Benmoussa. A meeting of the three federation presidents, Luis Rubiales, Fernando Gomes and Fouzi Lekjaa, is scheduled for this Wednesday.
Kigali is the seat of the FIFA Congress, which this Thursday will re-elect Gianni Infantino as president for the next five years. According to witnesses present in the groups formed by federative presidents from around the world, it was interpreted that the movement to add Morocco could be decisive for the success of the candidacy in which Ukraine was initially included.
The recent exclusion of the former Soviet republic from the Iberian candidacy due to government interference by suspending the president of its soccer federation, Andriy Pavelko, for alleged embezzlement, has opened the doors to Morocco. According to the Spanish Football Federation, Ukraine’s exit is independent of Moroccan adherence to the project and is not final. He could be reinstated if the aforementioned interference ceases, something unlikely unless Pavelko is no longer charged for overcharging the construction of artificial grass fields with money from UEFA. However, the European body did not sanction Pavelko. Neither does FIFA. There is no legal impediment for Ukraine to remain in the bid. The specifications will not be published until June.
At the time, the incorporation of Ukraine was interpreted as a decisive blow for Spain and Portugal to win the race to organize the 2030 World Cup. This has not been the case and the strength of the candidacy projected by Saudi Arabia together with Egypt and Greece has forced to the Spanish and Portuguese federations to find a new ally to divide the African vote. The organizing venue for the World Cup is designated by a vote of all the federations that make up FIFA (211). Normally, each continental confederation votes as a block and Saudi Arabia would add 101 exit votes only between Africa (54) and Asia (47). At the very least, the inclusion of Morocco is intended to discourage Saudi Arabia from giving up the race to host the 2030 World Cup and competing for the 2034 World Cup.
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