Sporting achievements throughout 2022 resulted from a long-term strategy implemented by the FRMF. The various national teams and clubs of the Kingdom have represented the country with dignity and shone in each competition. The historical performance of the Atlas Lions at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, whose echo was heard worldwide, was only the icing on the cake of a continental raid in men’s and women’s football.
Indeed, the national clubs won all the continental competitions for men (Champions League for WAC, CAF Cup, and Supercup for Berkane), while FAR won the Women’s Champions League for the first time. According to the ranking of CAF member associations, since 2020 and until today, the Moroccan championship is the best in Africa.
At the national team level, the U17 women’s team qualified for the Women’s World Cup for the first time, beating the host country, India.
The women’s senior team managed to reach the final of the CAN 2022 and will play this summer, for the first time in the history of the Arab world, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
Finally, Morocco has won two consecutive CHAN, and Morocco is today endowed with the best African Futsal team in history (8th in the FIFA ranking), with a solid record of success: 2 CAN, 2 Arab Cup 1 Confederations Cup, and a quarter-final elimination in the last World Cup.
All these results are the fruit of the work carried out by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, under the leadership of its President Fouzi Lekjaa, who has put in place, since 2014, a natural development strategy for local football.
INFRASTRUCTURE AXIS. As a reminder, the Kingdom has more than 200 synthetic turf fields in compliance with the standards, about twenty stadiums with natural turf fields and lighting in compliance with the standards, five regional training centers, and the famous Mohammed VI Football Complex, unique infrastructure in Africa. These facilities cover almost 30 hectares and offer state-of-the-art equipment byper FIFA standards, making this jewel of Moroccan football one of the world’s most essential and efficient sports complexes. At the same time, the Moroccan authorities have also insisted on local infrastructure. “In the 12 regions of Morocco, we have a team piloting regional development, starting with the detection of talent, which must go through the clubs’ training centers. That is why we have made a huge effort to provide clubs with training centers. The regional centers are the same as the national center, but in miniature”, the President of the FRMF detailed during an intervention before the press.
“This is our conception of the development cycle, which starts with detection in mass football, and which must lead via the clubs to the regional rand national centers of excellence,” Lekjaa continued. Thus, in Saidia, in the west of Morocco, the FRMF has built a technical center, the Saidia Regional Centre, strongly inspired by the Mohammed VI Complex. Other regional centers are in the process of being delivered.
An educational component accompanies infrastructure development to try to tighten the net a little more and not miss any potential talent. “We have started a Sport Etude program with the Ministry of National Education to have school structures throughout the Kingdom that can accommodate boys and girls who practice football permanently with an adapted program in all levels of schooling,” explains the President of the FRMF.
A regular candidate for the organization of the FIFA World Cup, Morocco undoubtedly has the best tourist offer on the African continent, with first-rate infrastructures (accommodation and transport) and football pitches meeting international standards.
IMPROVEMENT OF GOVERNANCE. Indeed, the FRMF supports national clubs on the administrative and financial levels.
On the one hand, elite clubs are being transformed into limited companies. They have been placed under the National Directorate of Control and Management supervision. On the other hand, the FRMF provides each first-division club with an annual subsidy of approximately 600,000 euros.
Not to mention the financial aid and support given to all clubs participating in continental interclub competitions.
The triumph of Moroccan football is also due to the FRMF’s excellent management of the covid-19 crisis: 2019/2020 Botola has resumed with an effective health protocol, which has allowed Moroccan fans to experience an epic season, with three teams vying for the title on the last day.
In addition, despite the crisis, the FRMF managed to get a new sponsor, Inwi (telecom sector), hired a company specialized in the programming of championship matches, and generalized the VAR to the second division.
IMPROVEMENT OF TRAINING. Also, the FRMF has put players’ training at the heart of the development of national football. The national clubs have quality training centers (FUS Rabat, RS Berkane…) and rely on players from the local pool, while other clubs have first-class academics. For example, Raja Casablanca has just inaugurated a brand new football academy.
The FRMF has also focused its strategy on promoting the training of managers, particularly coaches, medical staff and referees.
This improvement in training resulted in a feat two years ago: the U20 national team qualified for the CAN U20 in Mauritania, which had not happened for 15 years.
WOMEN’S FOOTBALL AXIS. President Lekjaa announced 2019 a major development plan for women’s football. This took the form of a Marshall Plan with a six-fold increase in the budget for women’s football, the establishment for the first time of a professional women’s league under the aegis of a dedicated institution, and the newly created National League for Women’s Football.
French coach Reynald Pedros, a two-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winner, has been hired, illustrating the FRMF’s ambition for women’s football. In 2022, Morocco hosted the women’s CAN for the first time. It was a massive celebration for African football, with records in terms of audience and spectators, and above all, an outstanding achievement for the Atlas Lionesses, who reached the final of the competition with a ticket to participate in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, knowing that the U17 women also managed the feat of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AXIS: Since 2015, the FRMF has carried out an ambitious international cooperation policy. More than 45 partnerships have been signed with African federations from all CAF sub-confederations. A vast majority of these agreements have been extended in 2019, which illustrates the importance and efficiency of this type of partnership agreement. The Kingdom’s institutional return to the African Union, thanks to the visionary diplomacy of King Mohammed VI, provides a solid basis for the FRMF to decide to make this strategic choice of strengthening the international cooperation policy that opens up to its counterparts in Africa.
The partnership agreements between the FRMF and other African federations are articulated around several axes: the support in terms of the realization of sports infrastructure, the exchange of best practices, the training of technical and administrative staff, the hosting of training courses for the preparation of national teams, but also the refereeing or the organization of friendly matches between the different categories of national teams Note that these partnership agreements are co-constructed between the FRMF and each African federation, and they are adjusted according to the needs of both parties.
This international cooperation can also take the form of financial support. Thus there was an act that constitutes a first in the field of South-South cooperation, and this at the initiative of the FRMF, which has graciously made available to the Rwandan Football Federation (FERWAFA) more than 2 million dollars from the FIFA Forward funds, and initially intended for the FRMF.
This is a first and a model we would like to see duplicated more often to help more federations get up to speed.
The FRMF is also active in the training of administrative and technical staff. A delegation from Djibouti, made up of the future managers of the national soccer academy, came to Morocco in 2021 to complete their training.
Regarding technical staff, the FRMF regularly organizes training courses for the CAF PRO license, open to African technicians. There are also training courses for learning the VAR.
The organization of training courses and friendly matches were also among the priorities of the FRMF in terms of international cooperation. At the last FIFA date, more than 12 African teams came to Morocco to play in friendly tournaments. Due to the lack of homologation of some stadiums by CAF, more than ten African federations played their official matches in Morocco (Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea…).
This approach does not only concern the A team but also all the youth categories that are concerned (U20 and U17), both men’s and women’s teams. This allows the African partners of Morocco to prepare in the best conditions and to be able to play or train within the Mohammed VI Football Complex.
This international strategy of the FRMF does not only concern the signature of conventions but especially the realization of acts on the ground to develop African soccer. This type of action is now a component of the DNA of the FRMF.
Indeed, the FRMF has developed and technically accompanied projects to construct soccer fields and turf.
Morocco provides African federations and their players with its expertise in the medical field, offering the possibility to be treated at the Mohammed VI Football Complex clinic.
So many elements explain the success of the Moroccan selection on the African and international scene, which in the opinion of many observers of African soccer, largely deserves its triumph. This also explains the willingness of Morocco to host the CAN 2025.
CANDIDATURE MAROC 2025 :
Today, Morocco is the ONLY African country to have successfully passed the prerequisite required by FIFA concerning all the criteria established in its specifications (sports infrastructure, hotel, health …) to be eligible for the organization of the World Cup in its new format to 48 teams (instead of 32). During the 2026 World Cup bid, a FIFA Task Force composed of dozens of experts crisscrossed Morocco for several months before awarding a mark above the average that made the Kingdom’s bid eligible for the World Cup in its new format of 48 teams.
Morocco has not hosted an African Cup of Nations since 1988, although all have noted the fervor and passion of the Moroccan public during the various soccer competitions in recent years, including the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in which Morocco was the first African country in history to reach the semi-finals.
The CAN 2025 in Morocco will be successful because the competition will take place in optimal logistical conditions.
A reminder of the host cities and stadiums:
Tangier (60,000 seats), Fes (35,000 seats), Rabat (45,000 seats), Casablanca 45,000 seats), Marrakech (45,000 seats) and Agadir (45,000 seats).
Morocco benefits from one of the best soccer infrastructures in Africa, as FIFA has approved all the selected stadiums (as part of the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup), as well as by CAF, as part of the World Cup and CAN qualifications. The Kingdom also has the Mohammed VI Football Complex, one of the best national soccer centers in the world.
The choice of the host cities meets the requirement of operational excellence, and those in terms of sports, residential, and transport infrastructure meeting the needs of the CAF.
Our candidacy offers many other advantages. We have a solid experience in terms of organizing sports events, especially soccer. Morocco has organized the 2022 Women’s CAN, the 2022 Women’s Champions League, and the 2018 CHAN, and several conferences, such as the FIFA-CAF Seminar on Infrastructure, at the Mohammed VI Complex in 2020.
Thus, Morocco has hosted several African teams without approved stadiums during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, up to 16 national teams simultaneously, which could be likened to a “mini CAN.”
With a solid tourism experience (more than 12 million tourists in 2019), the Kingdom is equipped with a high-quality hotel infrastructure and sufficient quantity (90,000 rooms distributed among the host cities) to accommodate national teams, official delegations, and fans in favorable conditions. Morocco’s accommodation offer will make it possible to accommodate all the players in the competition by offering rates adapted to all budgets.
Finally, the Moroccan bid meets the quality requirement in terms of mobility and transportation. Indeed, Morocco benefits from dense air, rail, and road networks.
The Mohammed V airport in Casablanca is an authentic African hub. Royal Air Maroc is present in several countries in West Africa and Central and East Africa, serving more than 82 destinations in Africa. A CAN 2025 in Morocco will also give a African diaspora in Europe a chance to join the party, the Kingdom being widely served from the Old Continent with very affordable rates. Each host city has an international airport. It will also be possible to travel between the cities by train, as they are all connected by rail. Thus, HM King Mohammed VI, may God assist him inaugurated the Tangier-Casablanca LGV in 2018, a first in Africa. Finally, Morocco has a modern highway network of over 2000 km.
Finally, Morocco’s bid is legitimate: first, because the national team has offered an unparalleled influence to African soccer by reaching the Cup’s semi-finals secondly, because the FRMF is very committed to the development of African soccer and cooperation, with more than 45 African federations partners, and this is within the framework of the Enlightened Vision of His Majesty the King, which promotes greater involvement in the development of South-South and win-win, especially with Africa.