The Spain-Morocco-Portugal joint bid is preparing for the final examination by FIFA in 2024. GETTY IMAGES

Having been selected by FIFA, the Spain-Morocco-Portugal joint bid will now have to meet the requirements. World football's governing body will begin overseeing all aspects of  the proposal in the three countries from 2024. At the end of the year, FIFA will issue a binding suitability report and set out a roadmap.

Six years before the 2030 World Cup, the joint bid by Spain, Morocco, and Portugal is making steady progress. However, since FIFA decided on 4 October that the project would be the sole candidate for the competition, it has imposed tasks to be fulfilled. The list of tasks is extensive and exhaustive, covering sporting, economic, structural, environmental, and logistical aspects. These include the suitability of the sports facilities to host the matches and, above all, their ability to accommodate everything that surrounds them: accommodation, training areas, transport, assistance and catering. 

Spain, Portugal and Morocco signed the bidding agreement on 30 November. In doing so, they undertook to comply with FIFA's rules and framework for hosting the finals of a World Cup in 2030 and they received FIFA's final approval on 4 October. This transformed their aspirations into commitments to strictly adhere to the requirements for hosting such an event.

Since then, the three parties have been working together on a work plan and roadmap. The first version of this will be presented in July. However, the final details will not be presented to FIFA until the end of 2024. 

FIFA will require a study of fan behaviour in the potential host cities. GETTY IMAGES
FIFA will require a study of fan behaviour in the potential host cities. GETTY IMAGES

This World Cup is unique, not only because it will take place in three countries at the same time, but also because of FIFA's decision to involve the other bidders, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. This decision makes the competition even more unprecedented. The three South American countries will be hosting a match, adding to the complexity of the infrastructure and logistics. It will be the first time a World Cup has been staged on two continents and in three countries - six, in fact. The opening match will be played in Uruguay.

This is to commemorate the centenary of the first World Cup in 1930, which was won by Uruguay. Argentina and Paraguay will also play their opening matches in their respective countries. This creates a strong transoceanic link within the bid. FIFA's requirements must be met in South America, Europe and Africa - three interconnected continents. Due to its complexity and geographical challenges, this edition is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious.

Now that the selection process has been completed, the most challenging phase will be to meet the required standards and requirements and to finalise the venues, where the demands on sports facilities are very high. All of this will be reviewed by FIFA in 2024, a crucial year. FIFA has given itself until the end of this year to give the go-ahead or to address any shortcomings.

Is the time now to finalise the budgets, to understand each country's finances and to determine which facilities need improvement or major renovation. A key issue to be resolved in 2024 is the number of venues, with a minimum of 14 required for the competition. 

More construction may not be necessary, but existing facilities may need to be brought up to standard. Information on the stadiums is extensive and FIFA will look at seating capacity, pitches, surroundings and interiors - including accessibility and location in relation to cities, as team transport and movement will be essential.

Portugal hosted the UEFA EURO 19 years ago. GETTY IMAGES
Portugal hosted the UEFA EURO 19 years ago. GETTY IMAGES

In 2024, a report will be submitted to FIFA, if necessary, detailing the improvements to be made and the funds available in order to meet the standards. Although FIFA will be aware of this in advance, each stadium or sports facility will also have to report on its usual activities.

The condition, characteristics and surroundings of the venue will also be an important factor in determining whether it will be ready for the first phase of the tournament or whether it will have the necessary facilities for the subsequent phases.

Just as important as the venues themselves is what surrounds them - the capacity of the hotels and the ability of the teams to train in a suitable environment during the World Cup. There will be a minimum number of hotels at the venues. There will also be parallel facilities for the teams. Each hotel must have an associated sports facility for training. Each team will be allocated a hotel and a training ground well in advance so that they can organise their work. The same applies to the referees, who will also be allocated accommodation and training facilities.

In 2024, the venues, accommodation and training facilities will be finalised, at a date to be determined by FIFA. Finally, the 2030 Bid aims to be an example of sustainability, equality and the defense of human rights. The reports gathered by FIFA for the organisation of such an event go beyond the venues.

They include a social study of life in each location, the habits of its citizens and the way football is experienced in each place, with a special focus on fan behaviour and environmental health habits in each area. Consideration will also be given to the potential impact of the event on the climate in terms of construction, facilities and mass movement.

Spain, Morocco and Portugal will have to provide information on their explicit public commitments to sustainability, human rights, sustainable procurement and climate action in order to certify that the competition will be organised under FIFA's sustainability requirements.

Morocco is considering around 19 venues and the best will be selected. GETTY IMAGES
Morocco is considering around 19 venues and the best will be selected. GETTY IMAGES

The roadmap also includes a specific section on ensuring that human rights and equality are upheld. Compliance with FIFA regulations will be a key factor in preventing incidents and ensuring the smooth running of the event.

All of these strategies will be subject to detailed reporting and monitoring by FIFA during the course of 2024. The three host countries, with the agreement of the three South American hosts, will have to rush to meet all these requirements in the first year, 2024, when the joint bid for the 2030 World Cup, the most ambitious in history, will be officially approved. This is probably due to its geographical complexity.

For Spain, it would be a chance to rethink and reinvent itself. It hosted the 1982 World Cup. Forty-eight years later, it would be a new opportunity to host such a momentous event. Some facilities have been completely renovated, while others need to be improved. 

So many of its facilities and infrastructures have already passed the test, even if they need to be renewed. Morocco is new to hosting a World Cup, but the people and authorities are committed to making it happen. The country has made great strides in football in recent years, reaching the semi-finals of the last World Cup, a historic achievement. 

Morocco is considering up to 18 venues: Casablanca and Rabat would each host four matches. The New Sports Complex in Casablanca and the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, both with a capacity of over 65,000, would be the main venues. Other venues that could make their debut in the African country include Tangier, Salé, Kenitra, Agadir, Fez, Oujda and Marrakech.