The joint hosting of the 2030 World Cup by Morocco, Spain, and Portugal has been marked by growing tensions over the venue for the final match. Spanish media outlets, including Marca and AS, have been conducting a vigorous lobbying campaign to sway FIFA’s decision in favor of Madrid, igniting strong reactions from the other host nations, especially Morocco.

Spread of false rumors

Following the announcement of the co-hosting arrangement, several Spanish media sources have circulated rumors suggesting that the final would almost certainly be held at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Reports imply that FIFA is already in advanced negotiations with Real Madrid to secure this iconic venue for the final. This strategy of misinformation appears designed to create an air of inevitability around Madrid’s bid, thereby shaping public perception and influencing the decisions of sports authorities.

Moroccan reactions

Faouzi Laakjaa, President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), has strongly condemned these claims. In a recent interview, he criticized the Spanish press’s attempts to bias FIFA’s decision-making process and reiterated Morocco’s desire to host the final in the new Casablanca stadium. Laakjaa emphasized that Morocco’s bid is based on robust criteria and deserves fair consideration.

The joint bid

The Morocco-Portugal-Spain bid for the 2030 World Cup is celebrated for its diversity and transcontinental collaboration. At the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Pedro Rocha, President of the Spanish Football Federation, and Fernando Gomes, President of the Portuguese Football Federation, highlighted the unique strengths of their joint bid, which unites multiple cultures through the love of football.

Impact of media pressure

The media pressure from Spanish publications aims to potentially influence FIFA’s decision, which is expected by the end of the year. Despite this, Morocco remains steadfast in promoting its candidacy, citing the quality of its infrastructure, widespread popular support, and proven organizational capability demonstrated in past sporting events.

As the decision looms, the contest over the final venue underscores the complex dynamics and high stakes involved in hosting one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.