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When everyone was expecting a tough competition between the South American bid (Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) and the Euro-African one (Spain, Portugal and Morocco) to be FIFA World Cup 2030 hosts, it looks like FIFA has decided.
The result is stunning and (like the decision to award Qatar host status for 2022) not without controversy, as for the first time in the history of the World Cup, the competition will take place in more than one continent. But the winner might not be who you think it is…
The World Cup of the Century
A hundred years after the first World Cup, FIFA has decided to bring back the competition to South America… but only for a few games.
Back in 1930, Uruguay hosted the whole competition and eventually, the local team won the tournament. A whole century later, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will host the opening matches of the Centenario World Cup according to the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) president, Alejandro Domínguez.
We aimed high and dreamed big. The 2030 Centenario World Cup starts where it all began.
The host of the opening matches of the Centenario World Cup will be Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.#MundialCentenario 🏆
— Alejandro Domínguez (@agdws) October 4, 2023
But after the opening games (three in total, featuring Argentina, Uruguay & Paraguay), the rest of the competition will be played across Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Alejandro Domínguez, CONMEBOL president, was the first to reveal the information.
“The FIFA Council unanimously agreed that the sole candidacy will be the combined bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, which will host the event in 2030. […] Additionally, having taken into account the historical context of the first-ever FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Council further unanimously agreed to host a unique centenary celebration ceremony in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, where the first ever FIFA World Cup took place in 1930, as well as three World Cup matches in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay respectively.”
FIFA World Cup 2030 hosts – Three continents, six countries
The bid led by Spain, Portugal and Morocco was already the first one to push for a competition played over two continents: in the end, FIFA has decided that just two continents were not enough. “United not only in a celebration of football but also in providing unique social and cultural cohesion. What a great message of peace, tolerance and inclusion” declared FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Uruguay, Argentina and Spain already hosted the competition in the past, respectively in 1930, 1978 and 1982. For the first time in history, Morocco, Portugal and Paraguay will be hosting World Cup games. For Morocco, this is the end of a long journey after five unsuccessful bids to host the biggest competition in the world.
World Cup 2034 in Asia or Oceania
Considering the rotation policy currently in place, this decision from FIFA opens the door for a bid coming from Asia and Oceania to host the World Cup 2023. The World Cup was hosted only once in Asia in 2002 (Japan & South Korea) and has never been hosted in Oceania.
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