December 4, 2023
Events Sport

Morocco, Portugal and Spain to host FIFA World Cup 2030

Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will host the centenary celebrations

Three countries – Morocco, Portugal and Spain – will host the FIFA World Cup 2030 in what will also be the centenary year of the FIFA World Cup.

The three countries’ collaboration follows extensive consultation with all FIFA-affiliated confederations. Given the importance of marking the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, a FIFA statement said the FIFA Council made key decisions about the bidding and hosting the centenary edition of the FIFA World Cup in 2030.

The FIFA Council unanimously agreed that the sole candidacy for the FIFA World Cup 2030 edition would be the combined bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain.

The three countries qualify automatically from the existing slot allocation subject to the completion of a successful bidding process conducted by FIFA and a decision by the FIFA Congress in 2024.

Having also considered the historical context of the first-ever FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Council, in a videoconference from Zurich, Switzerland, also unanimously agreed to host a unique centenary celebration ceremony in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where the first-ever FIFA World Cup took place in 1930, as well as three World Cup matches in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay respectively.

‘Uniting a divided world’

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, said: “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting. The FIFA Council, representing the entire world of football, unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, the first edition of which was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way.

Infographic: Statista

“As a result, a celebration will take place in South America and three South American countries – Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay – will organise one match each of the FIFA World Cup 2030. The first of these three matches will be played at the stadium where it all began, in Montevideo’s mythical Estádio Centenário, precisely to celebrate the centenary edition of the FIFA World Cup.

“The FIFA Council also agreed unanimously that the only bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030 is the joint bid of Morocco, Portugal and Spain,” Infantino added.

“Two continents – Africa and Europe – united in celebrating football and providing unique social and cultural cohesion. What a great message of peace, tolerance and inclusion.

‘Global footprint ‘

“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,” Infantino concluded.

It was also agreed that in line with the principle of confederation rotation and of securing the best possible hosting conditions for the tournaments, the bidding processes for both the 2030 and 2034 editions be conducted concurrently with FIFA member associations from the territories of the AFC and the OFC invited to bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2034.

The minimum hosting requirements, as previously approved by the FIFA Council on June 23, 2023, concerning the FIFA World Cup 2030, will also form the basis of this bidding process, with the hosts appointed in a separate FIFA Congress.

Meanwhile, following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee on September 26, 2023, to allow once again the participation of Russian representative youth teams at U-17 girls and boys level, the FIFA Council approved an extension of this decision to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup for which UEFA’s competitions serve as a qualification pathway, thus lifting the suspension on teams from Russia taking part in these tournaments.

This is conditional on these teams playing under the name of the ‘Football Union of Russia’ rather than ‘Russia’, in the absence of their national flag, national anthem, national-team kit and equipment, and instead playing in neutral colours.

The FIFA Council also reiterated its condemnation of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Featured image: The 2030 World Cup is the centenary of the beautiful game: Image: FIFA

Arnold Pinto

Arnold Pinto

Arnold Pinto is an award-winning digital-first journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading and camping.
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