FIFA said on Wednesday that it has awarded Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay the opening games as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup, for which a South American bid had been submitted. South America will host the first three games of the World Cup.
The 2030 World Cup will be held in Morocco, Spain, and Portugal; however, the first three games will be held in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.
After playing their first three games at home, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay will travel to Morocco, Spain, and Portugal to play the remaining games of the tournament.
It will be the first World Cup in history to span three continents, and all six teams will qualify automatically.
Paraguay is home to the CONMEBOL offices, despite Uruguay having hosted and won the first World Cup in 1930 and Argentina having finished as the tournament’s runner-up. At the time of the 1930 tournament, CONMEBOL was the only existing confederation.
As stated by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the first match will take place in Uruguay at Estadio Centenario, a stadium built for the 1930 competition.
It is still planned for Morocco, Portugal, or Spain to host the opening ceremony.
After failing to host the event in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, and 2026, Morocco will finally be able to call themselves World Cup hosts in 2030. It will also be the first North African nation to host World Cup games.
Before teaming up with Spain and Portugal in March, Morocco had planned to submit a proposal on its own.
Along with Spain, which hosted the 1982 World Cup, Portugal will also be hosting for the first time, despite having previously bid unsuccessfully for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Although Portugal reached the finals of Euro 2004, they were ultimately defeated.
The Spanish government issued a statement calling the news “truly transcendental” for Spanish sports.
Ukraine had offered to host some group-stage matches for Spain and Portugal in October of last year, but their preparation for a major tournament had been in question due to the continuing conflict with Russia.
It will be the first World Cup to be held in more than two host countries; the 2026 tournament in North America will include Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
According to FIFA’s rotation policy, CONCACAF will host the tournament in 2026, with CAF, CONMBEO, and UEFA hosting the tournament in 2030. In 2034, FIFA hopes to accept bids from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).
Infantino said that the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to support the combined candidacy of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030. “Two continents, Africa and Europe, came together in an unprecedented display of social and cultural harmony to celebrate football. Wow, this is a powerful statement for unity and acceptance.
“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.”
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez remarked, “It’s a historic event, and CONMEBOL is happy.” In doing so, we are able to reach parity with our forebears. Once again, we are grateful for FIFA’s and our colleagues’ trust in such a momentous occasion and year.
The good news is that by splitting the investment amongst three nations and three hosts, we can use nearly none of the resources that are now being used. And that’s fantastic news because we all know that if it had been an issue of investment or money demands, we simply wouldn’t be able to compete in that setting.
“I believe it would have been an unwise suggestion from us if this had been a competition where our governments had to contribute the amounts that nations now pay to be hosts. Because we know that other countries are far better off economically and have less pressing issues, I doubt that we would have been able to accomplish that goal either. Therefore, I consider this to be a very responsible and workable approach.
Saudi Arabia said later on Wednesday that it would submit a proposal to host the 2034 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) said on Wednesday that it was aiming to host a “world-class tournament” for the 25th edition, drawing on the country’s “deep-rooted passion for football” in its bid.
FIFA has been criticized for not ‘seriously’ addressing climate change.
One example of football’s “inability to take the threat of climate change seriously” is FIFA’s decision to split the 2030 World Cup over three continents.
“The announcement today that the first three games of the 2030 World Cup will be played in South America before hosting the remaining matches across two continents is yet another example of the footballing industry’s inability to take the threat of climate change seriously,” said Elliot Arthur-Worsop, founder of Football for Future, a non-profit organization aiming to create an environmentally sustainable culture in the sport.
Extreme weather, such as flash floods and heat waves, is becoming more common and increasingly endangering football games.
FIFA’s decision today would result in significant carbon emissions from unnecessary travel by both players and spectators.
At a time when the effects of climate change are only expected to worsen, this creates a worrying precedent for future events.
Football may affect positive change by mobilizing a new generation of supporters.
To preserve the “beautiful game” we all love, it is critical that FIFA and other governing organizations take the initiative to build a sustainable future.
Soccer’s governing body has previously said that it is “continuing to strengthen its requirements and programs related to environmental protection.” It claims to have compensated for the “unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions” produced by the men’s, women’s, and youth World Cups held during the last four years.
Does FIFA make a wise move with its 2030 decision?
Although it would have been romantic to have the World Cup return to Uruguay 100 years later, the country lacked the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the tournament’s larger 48-team field. Should we have believed that Europe would agree to two successive World Cups being held in the Americas? If FIFA were a father with two pampered children, it would have to institute an incentive system to keep them in check.
Just when you think the decision-makers at FIFA and its confederation can’t top themselves, they go and do it. Under the pretense of “uniting the world,” FIFA’s intention to spread the 2030 Globe Cup among six nations on three continents is absurd. CONMEBOL was obviously never going to be ready to host the 2030 tournament.
The CONMEBOL proposal, which included Argentina and Paraguay, was a last-ditch effort to make a hopeless campaign seem legitimate. Uruguay and CONMEBOL will have their time in the sun in 2030 if the first matches are played in South America. It’s the simplest way to host the World Cup in Uruguay without drawing attention to the country’s unfriendliness toward foreigners.
As a result, FIFA, UEFA, and CONMEBOL will work to alleviate the obvious travel difficulties that a transatlantic World Cup inevitably raises. It was terrible enough that the World Cup had to be scaled down to 48 teams. It would be too much to ask to have the World Cup on two different continents.