FIFA 2030 World Cup to feature matches on 3 continents
The 2030 men's soccer World Cup will see matches hosted in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, FIFA has announced.
Morocco, Portugal and Spain will be joint hosts for the 2030 World Cup, but some matches will also be played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, FIFA announced on Wednesday, 4 October.
FIFA, the world soccer's governing body, said in a statement that the matches in South America were part of the celebration of the centenary of the first World Cup in Uruguay.
"The centennial World Cup could not be far from South America, where everything began," said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American soccer body CONMEBOL. "The 2030 World Cup will be played in three continents."
Acceptance of a unified 2030 candidacy still needs formal approval next year at a meeting of the 211 member federations, but this step is seen mainly as a formality.
"In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, three continents — Africa, Europe and South America — six countries — Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay — welcoming and uniting the world while celebrating together the beautiful game, the centenary and the FIFA World Cup," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
The 48-team, 104-game tournament scheduled for June-July 2030 would start with games in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, before moving on to the core host nations Spain, Portugal and Morocco for the later stages of the competition. It will involve an unprecedented amount of travel and time zone-crossing for teams, and possibly for fans trying to follow their teams.
Sole candidate for the competition
The multi-country bid is the only one being formally considered for the 2030 World Cup, which means FIFA will avoid the often contentious bidding and voting process that came under such sharp scrutiny in 2010 when Russia was named the 2018 tournament host and Qatar the 2022 venue.
Subsequent allegations of corruption in those votes only served to heighten the controversy and ultimately led to former President Sepp Blatter's departure and to Infantino taking up the role.
FIFA had made it possible for the competition to take place in multiple different countries ahead of the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, won by a joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico. Morocco, now included in 2030's plans, had been the only other contender in applying to host that competition.
UEFA carried out a similar experiment for Euro 2020 (ultimately held in 2021 because of the COVID pandemic), which took place across 11 host cities around Europe.
In a bid to make room for countries and regions that have gone many years now without hosting a World Cup, the bidding process to host the 2034 competition will only be open to member federations from Asia and Oceania. Saudi Arabia is rumored to be one interested party, as is Australia, which co-hosted this year's women's World Cup with New Zealand.
Published: 05 Oct 2023, 2:14 PM