In an official announcement, FIFA has confirmed that the 2030 World Cup will be a remarkable global spectacle, spanning six countries across three continents. The co-hosts for this grand event will be Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, with the inaugural three matches set to take place in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.
The decision to kick off the World Cup in South America is in commemoration of the tournament’s centenary, marking a historic moment 100 years since the inaugural match in Montevideo. The formal ratification of this decision is expected at the upcoming FIFA congress.
In addition to this exciting news, FIFA has revealed that only bids from nations within the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation will be considered for the 2034 World Cup. Responding to this development, Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to bid for the tournament in 2034 for the first time.
FIFA’s choice to spread the World Cup across multiple continents has faced criticism, with one supporters’ group accusing the governing body of football of perpetuating a “cycle of destruction against the greatest tournament on Earth.” Football Supporters Europe expressed their concerns, stating that it is “horrendous for supporters, disregards the environment, and extends an invitation to a host for 2034 with an appalling human rights record. It’s the end of the World Cup as we know it.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino defended the decision, emphasizing the unity and celebration it would bring to a divided world. He said, “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting.” Infantino elaborated, “In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, spanning three continents – Africa, Europe, and South America – with six countries – Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay – welcoming the world to celebrate the beautiful game, the centenary, and the FIFA World Cup.”
Montevideo, Uruguay, the city that hosted the first-ever World Cup match in 1930, is poised to stage the opening game in 2030, with matches in Argentina and Paraguay to follow. Subsequently, the remainder of the 48-team tournament will unfold in North Africa and Europe.
If the 2030 proposal is approved, Morocco would become only the second African nation to host a World Cup, following South Africa in 2010. Spain, which has been named a joint host, recently made headlines after the former football federation chief, Luis Rubiales, resigned amid controversy involving a kiss shared with Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup. While appearing in court, Rubiales was issued a restraining order by a Spanish judge but denied allegations of sexual assault. Spain last hosted the World Cup in 1982, with Italy emerging as the victors.
Portugal, on the other hand, has never hosted the World Cup, although it did host the European Championship in 2004.
As in previous World Cups, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco will all qualify automatically as co-hosts, ensuring a vibrant and diverse competition in 2030.