2030 World Cup to be held across six countries in three continents

Sports Wednesday 04/October/2023 21:12 PM
By: Times News Service
2030 World Cup to be held across six countries in three continents

Lausanne: The 2030 World Cup will be held across six countries in three continents, South America, Africa and Europe, the world governing body, FIFA, confirmed on Wednesday.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco have been named as the co-hosts, with the opening three matches taking place in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.

The opening matches in South America are to mark the World Cup's centenary as it will be 100 years since the inaugural tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The decision is set to be ratified at a FIFA Congress next year.

"In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a statement.

"The FIFA Council, representing the entire world of football, unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, whose first edition was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way.

"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 also confirmed only bids from countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will be considered for the 2034 finals. According to a BBC report, Saudi Arabia is expected to bid to host the tournament in 2034 for the first time.

Montevideo in Uruguay, the city which hosted the first World Cup match in 1930, is poised to stage the opening game in 2030 with matches in Argentina and Paraguay to follow. The rest of the 48-team tournament will then move to north Africa and Europe.

If the 2030 proposal is approved, Morocco would become only the second African nation to host a World Cup, after South Africa in 2010.

Spain last hosted the World Cup in 1982, with Italy winning the tournament for the third time.

Portugal has never hosted the tournament, but Euro 2004 was held there.

As in previous World Cups, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Spain, Portugal and Morocco will all qualify automatically as joint-hosts.