Thursday 14 March 2024, 22:00

Morocco awarded multi-year hosting rights to FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup™

  • FIFA Council awards Morocco hosting rights for each year from 2025 to 2029

  • Expanded 24-team tournament will return annually to north African country over five-year period

  • Morocco to become first African nation to stage women's global U-17 tournament

Morocco will become the first African nation to stage the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup after it was awarded multi-year hosting rights by the FIFA Council to organise the new annual, expanded tournament every year between 2025 and 2029. FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced last year the intention to make the FIFA U-17 World Cups™ for both men and women an annual event, while also expanding both to 48 and 24 teams respectively. The aim is to give young talents the very best opportunity to perform and compete against each other on the global stage, and in a further innovative step, the tournament will now be held in the same country over a five-year period. Morocco, which this year will host its second successive Women's Africa Cup of Nations, joins upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup™ organisers Qatar as the first FIFA Member Associations to be multi-year host nations. "Football in Morocco has gone from strength to strength in recent years. While the men's team reached the last four at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the women's team have made such impressive strides, thanks to the support of the government and the Moroccan Football Association, and the talent of the players," said Mr Infantino, referring to Morocco's women's national team reaching the knockout stages of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ on their tournament debut. "I believe hosting the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup over five years will inspire so many more girls - and boys - to take up football in the country, and as it is the first time the tournament comes to Africa, that inspiration will spread right across the continent."

While the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, which featured eight debutant nations after being expanded to 32 teams, showed more competing countries does not dilute the quality of football on the pitch, the aim of multi-year hosting rights is to give countries the chance to build solid organisational foundations for tournaments. The new strategy will shape FIFA U-17 World Cups of the future, shifting them from a stadium-based model to being a festival of football. While each year's tournament will be unique, organisational structures and tournament infrastructure - from football technology and broadcast set-ups to transport and accommodation - will remain in place, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Key learnings from each edition will ensure improved delivery of the tournament year-on-year. With the FIFA World Cup 2030™ set to be co-hosted by Morocco, along with European neighbours Spain and Portugal, subject to the completion of a successful bidding process conducted by FIFA and a decision by the FIFA Congress in May, the five-year build-up to that tournament will now see football fans and officials mobilised annually by another major FIFA competition.

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