Morocco to bid for 2030 World Cup after losing 2026 bid

Morocco to bid for 2030 World Cup after losing 2026 bid
By Reuters

14/06/2018 at 17:04Updated 14/06/2018 at 17:06

RABAT, June 14 (Reuters) - Morocco will bid to host the 2030 World Cup, a government spokesperson said on Thursday, a day after the kingdom missed out on the 2026 tournament to a joint North American bid.

"Upon royal instructions, Morocco will prepare its bid to host the 2030 tournament," spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi told a press briefing.

He also said Morocco would implement the projects included in its 2026 bid, despite losing to a joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The North American bid received 134 FIFA Congress votes to Morocco's 65. Khalfi said it was "regrettable" that seven Arab countries did not vote for Morocco, including close political allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar, who will host the tournament in 2022, voted for Morocco.

Following Wednesday's vote, Morocco's King Mohammed VI spoke to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani by phone, and al-Thani promised to support any 2030 bid by Morocco, the Moroccan royal office said in a statement.

Morocco has made five unsuccessful bids to host the World Cup.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Aidan Lewis and Toby Davis)