by Ayele Addis Ambelu (Ph.D.), Africa Union, CAF, Morocco, Sport

Mr. Omar Khyari, Since 2019, he is the advisor to the President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation. He is in charge of communication and international relations.

The team of African media participants confirmed that “Morocco is Opening the” African Football victory and a new sports development model.” According to Omar Khyari: the advisor to the President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation. Morocco’scharge of communication and international relations. Morocco’s bid to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) will include six stadiums that have been certified by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), according to Omar Khyari. 

The Casablanca’sposal includes the use of the following Rabat’sdiums: Casablanca’s Mohammed V Complex (45,000 seats), Rabat’s Moulay Agadir’s Complex (53,000), Grand Stade de Marrakech (45,240), Agadir’s Stade Adrar (45,480), Grand Stade de Tanger (45,000), and Grand Stade de Fez (37,000).

Morocco has recently hosted several continental compeWomen’s in most of these stadiums.

The competitions included Women’s CAN 2022 (Casablanca and Rabat) and the 2018 African Nations Championships or CHAN (Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Agadir).

“Morocco has not hosted the African Cup of Nations since 1988. This edition was played with eight teams at the Mohammed ” Complex and Moulay Abdellah Complex and was won by Cameroon,” said Omar Khyari. 

Morocco’stives have regularly acknowledged their delight with Morocco’s sports event administration.

The North African country is still over the moon after making a maiden semi-final appearance for the continent at the Fifa World Cup during the Qatar 2022 competition last month.

For Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF), this is only one of the significant fruits yielded thus far from the grand development of local soccer developed in 2014. That’s according to federation president advisor Omar Khyari.

After years of great effort and heavy investment, Morocco has a complete chance to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2025. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had to restart procedures to select a host. Many countries declared official interest in hosting the event, amongst them Morocco. They were successfully shortlisted by the continental body Caf and are now subject to a vote during a meeting slated for February.

The African Sports journalists said that The Atlas Lions were ranked 10th in the FIFA World Rankings in April 1998. They were organized by FIFA as the top African national team for three consecutive years, from 1997 to 1999. As of December 2022, Morocco is ranked as the 11th-best national team in the world.

Omar emphasizes showing the boom of morocco’s sports infrastructure as the country, going by their national plan, now has more than 200 synthetic turf fields, 20 stadiums with natural turf and lighting, five regional training centers, and the famous Mohammed VI Football Complex.

“In the 12 regions of Morocco, we have a team piloting regional development, starting with the detection of talent, which must go through the training centers of clubs,” said Omar in an interview with Arica News Channel.

“That’s why we have made a huge effort to provide clubs with training centers. The regional centers are the same as the national center,” he noted. Those facilities sit on about 30 hectares and offer state-of-the-art equipment. Besides infrastructure, Morocco is banking on its healthy relationship with the continent to win the bid.

The Africa News channel political analyst Paul Bayo said Morocco is politically stable. It is a constitutional monarchy led by King Mohamed VI, who came to the throne in 1999. There are two legislative bodies, the Lower House, directly elected, and the Upper House, selected through a college of electors. Apr 24, 2017.

This is hinged on the fact RMFF has since 2015 signed more than 40 partnerships with African federations from all sub-confederations of Caf, with most contracts extended in 2019. Morocco welcomed more than 12 African teams for friendly competitions during the last Fifa window.

And after Caf declined to accept stadiums for some countries on the grounds of standards, Morocco opened up to over 10 African federations to play their official matches there, such as Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea.

 “In any case, the success at the level of our continent can only be strong effort, huge investment, and scientific development,” Omar adds.

Essentially, these moves align with the high orientations of the King of Morocco, who sets Africa as his diplomacy and foreign policy priority. However, 2025 welcomed morocco into the new stage of African football infrastructure and development.

Land of football, Morocco has the ambition to host one of the best African Cup of Nations to celebrate the best of African football, its values of tolerance, unity, and respect, to serve the development and the influence of African football as a whole, and finally, to share an authentic and human experience.

Morocco’s candidacy is legitimate because the national team has offered unparalleled influence to African football, reaching the World Cup’s semi-finals Cup.

Secondly, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF) is very committed to the development of African football and to the cooperation with more than 45 African partner federations, and this, within the framework of the Enlightened Vision of His Majesty the King, which promotes more significant involvement in South-South and win-win development, particularly in Africa.

Finally, Morocco is the only African country to have successfully passed the prerequisite required by FIFA concerning all the criteria established in its specifications, namely, sports infrastructures, hotels, hospitals, …etc.

Indeed, when Morocco’s bid for the 2026 World Cup was presented, a task force composed of dozens expressed the country for several months before awarding it a mark above the ave, making its bid eligible for the World Cup under the new format of 48 teams. The AFCON 2025 will be a 24-team event, which means that Morocco is de facto well beyond the requirements of the AFCON 24-teams.

In organizing the AFCON 2025, Morocco guaranteed accessibility for football fans from their countries of residence, richness and diversity of the tourist experience, and safety within the Kingdom. And for the players and their staff, the hotel facilities’ comfort and quality, the sports infrastructures’ modernity, and an ideal and temperate climate.

Six iconic host cities were selected to celebrate the best of African football: Rabat, Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir, Tangier, and Fez. The choice was based on operational and logistical excellence, notably in terms of sports, residential, and transport infrastructures meeting the requirements of CAF. The six cities have the following capacities: Tangier (60,000 seats), Fez (35,000 seats), Rabat (65,000 seats), Casablanca (65,000 seats), Marrakech (45,000 seats), and Agadir (45,000).

Thus, all the host cities, located within a radius of 465 km around Casablanca, are connected through optimal transport networks, including the air network, which covers the six host cities of the competition with an average of one-hour flight.

These cities are characterized by intense and unique identities, reflecting Morocco’s diversity and passion for football, each with its own historical, geographical, and social identity. Some of these cities are on the coast or recorded and mountainous destinations; this diversity will not fail to offer the African Cup of Nations a magical setting for the show.

Having a solid tourism field experience (more than 12 million tourists in 2019), the Kingdom is endowed with a high-quality hotel infrastructure and sufficient quantity (90,000 rooms distributed among the host cities) to welcome national teams, official delegations, and supporters 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.

The Kingdom of Morocco has the ideal conditions for the organization of one of the best African Cup of Nations due to its diversity, geographical position, legendary hospitality, political stability, and security.

At the same time, Morocco benefits from one of the best football infrastructures in Africa. FIFA and CAF have approved all the selected stadiums as part of the World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualification.

Finally, Morocco is committed to developing African football and continues its activities in continuity with the bid to organize the 2025 African Cup of Nations to show its capacity to manage a safe African Cup in the best conditions and to the standards of the most prestigious international competitions. The 2025 AFCON guarantees a magical and unforgettable experience for players, supporters, guests, and viewers worldwide.

Morocco aims to share its expertise in organizing major sporting events, inspire the younger generation for a world of solidarity, justice, tolerance, and care for the planet, and celebrate the universal values of football through a multicultural and unifying continental event.