- The 2030 World Cup will take place in six different countries on three continents
- Morocco, Spain and Portugal will be the hosts, with matches also in South America
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The 2030 World Cup is set to take place in six different countries across three continents, a shock move to celebrate the tournament’s 100th anniversary.
Under an extraordinary proposal discussed today at a FIFA Council meeting, Spain, Portugal and Morocco would be the official hosts of the World Cup, but the first three matches would be played in Uruguay , in Argentina and Paraguay, in a nod to the South American roots of the competition. .
The radical move is the result of months of secret negotiations between UEFA and the South American and African federations, who reached an agreement before submitting the proposal to FIFA. The world governing body has also reportedly given its backing in principle to an idea that would avoid a lengthy and costly application process, but it must be approved without discussion at next year’s FIFA Congress.
Spain, Portugal and Morocco have been seen as favorites to win the 2030 hosting rights since they confirmed their joint bid earlier this year, which would have been heartbreaking for fans of South America.
Uruguay and Argentina have announced plans to join forces to host the Centenary World Cup as early as 2017, a romantic bid given they played in the first final won by hosts Uruguay in 1930, a joint venture which was later joined by Paraguay and Argentina. Chile.
Morocco, Spain and Portugal are set to host the 2030 World Cup, while 2022 winners Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will host the first three matches of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia also held discussions with Greece and Egypt last year about submitting a joint bid, but the oil-rich kingdom has since refocused its ambitions on winning in 2034 and said earlier this year that he would withdraw from the previous race.
Under the proposal presented to FIFA earlier today, the first match of the 2030 tournament would be held in Montevideo to recognize Uruguay’s legacy as the first winner and host of the World Cup, with the second match taking place in Argentina.
The third match would then take place in Paraguay to recognize the country’s position as the birthplace of the South American federation, CONMEBOL, but Chile would not get a match. All remaining matches would take place in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has backed the proposal as a way to make 2030 the most global World Cup ever.
All six host countries would be granted automatic qualification, leaving 42 of the 48 competing teams having to qualify, although the South American qualifying campaign would be reduced since only 3 of their six automatic spots would be available, plus one play-off spot .
In a somewhat bizarre twist, FIFA made it clear that as official host, the opening ceremony had to take place in Spain, Portugal or Morocco, even though the first match would take place elsewhere.
The 2030 proposal also has significant implications for the 2034 bidding process and appears to make it almost inevitable that the next tournament will take place in Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of another Winter World Cup.
With FIFA maintaining the principle of rotation of confederations, only host countries from Asia and Oceania would be invited to apply for 2034, leaving Saudi Arabia in an unassailable position despite possible interest from Australia and New Zealand. -Zealand.