Design & Development

Morocco details stadium investment plan for World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations

Featured image credit: KSKB1935/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED/Edited for size

Morocco is planning on building a new stadium in Benslimane for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, with six existing venues to undergo renovation work ahead of the tournament, which the country is set to co-host alongside Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.

FIFA announced earlier this month that the 2030 World Cup will take place in six countries spanning three continents. Morocco, Portugal and Spain, which submitted a joint bid to host the tournament, will host the bulk of matches, with the three South American countries to host “celebratory” matches to mark 100 years since the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay.

Morocco is set to become the second African country to host a World Cup, after South Africa staged the 2010 edition. It was also announced last month that Morocco will stage the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025, and details of the country’s venue plans for this tournament and the 2030 World Cup have now been revealed.

On Friday, a partnership was signed in Rabat between the Moroccan government and the country’s Deposit and Management Fund (CDG) to finance a programme to upgrade stadiums in Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir, Marrakech and Fez, and build a new stadium in Benslimane.

The project is part of King Mohammed VI’s vision to develop the country’s football infrastructure. The six upgraded stadiums would meet Confederation of African Football (CAF) standards by 2025 and FIFA standards by 2028.

The stadiums in question are Tangier’s Ibn Batouta Stadium (pictured), Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Ardar Stadium in Agadir, Stade de Marrakech, and the Fez Sports Complex.

A budget of MAD9.5bn (£756m/€867m/$920m) has been set aside to upgrade these stadiums between 2023 and 2025. A second round of upgrades will be carried out between 2025 and 2028 to bring them up to FIFA standards. The second round of upgrades will have a budget of between MAD4.5bn and MAD6bn.

The new stadium in Benslimane will be built between 2025 and 2028 at a cost of around MAD5bn. No details have been confirmed regarding the capacity of the stadium.

It was announced in March that Morocco had joined Spain and Portugal’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) last year revealed a shortlist of 15 venues that are seeking to host matches during the tournament, with 11 expected to be used. A further three will be used in Portugal. It is unclear how many Moroccan stadiums will be needed for the tournament.

The Moroccan, Spanish and Portuguese football federations are set to present a formal letter of joint intent to FIFA on Saturday.