Egypt, which was considered a bid to host the 2030 World Cup with Saudi Arabia and Greece, has changed its mind. Morocco officially presented its candidacy along with Spain and Portugal.
Where will the FIFA World Cup be held in 2030? This is the question football fans are already asking themselves. And the choice is likely to be binary: on the one hand, South America has positioned itself with a joint candidate from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay; on the other, Spain, Portugal and Morocco would see themselves organizing an edition with a Mediterranean accent. But they expected another candidate: that of Saudi Arabia, which convinced Egypt and Greece to join it.
The 2030 World Cup is symbolic: it is the 100th anniversary of the World Cup. And in a historic event, we imagine FIFA is looking to mark the occasion. Either by bringing the competition back to South America, where it all started, since it was in Uruguay where the first edition of the tournament took place. Kit holds the first application in two continents: Africa and Europe.
For this last option, only Morocco seems to be still in the race. Indeed, while the official presentation of the files comes to an end, Egypt would change its tone, while the Kingdom of Cherifian officially its candidacy with Spain and Portugal on March 14.
What happened to shake the alliance between Saudi Arabia, Greece and Egypt? This had a great advantage, since the countries in question offer a World Cup organized by members of three different confederations, namely Asian, African and European.
For Cairo, this is not the time…
If the trio fails to agree, it is partly to blame for Greece, which lacks the necessary infrastructure. Saudi Arabia offered to help finance several stadiums, but Athens was not necessarily interested because the country is barely recovering from a severe economic crisis.
But last month, it was Cairo that definitely buried Saudi hopes, while Riyadh seemed well organized in the short term, like its Qatari neighbor, a World Cup. The Egyptian Sports Minister, Ashraf Sobhi, announced last April that he refused to participate in the 2030 World Cup.
The main reason is not to eclipse Morocco. The Kingdom maintains close relations with FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), even more so since the election of Motsepe at the head of the latter. A deal between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece seems doomed, and sometimes it’s better not to tempt fate.
The second reason: Egypt does not have a flourishing economy, especially since the war in Ukraine had a considerable impact on the daily life of Egyptians. Cairo would find it difficult to invest in a World Cup, a real money pit, especially after a 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) that it struggled to win.
According to sources close to the Egyptian Ministry of Sports, Cairo would prefer to host other competitions before trying its luck at a World Cup. We are talking in particular about the 2030 Olympic Games. Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029.