|FIFA on Wednesday reached an agreement with rulers of nations to allow Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay to host one game each as Spain, Portugal, and Morocco win bids to host the 2030 World Cup. (Photo credit: FIFA)|
As the FIFA World Cup celebrates its 100th anniversary, the 2030 edition is set to be hosted across six countries over three continents, a first for the highly revered tournament.
The football ruling body (FIFA) reached an agreement with leaders of different continents to ratify hosting rights for Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. The South American nations of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay would also host some games, with the latter being significant as the home of the first-ever World Cup.
Those three countries will each host one match to start the tournament, which allows FIFA to stage the opening game in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where the Centenario Stadium hosted the inaugural 1930 World Cup final.
All six nations on the hosting list will automatically qualify for the 2030 World Cup in the new 48-team format, and games will pay tribute to heroes of the game from the first edition to date.
"The centennial World Cup could not be far from South America, where everything began," said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American soccer body CONMEBOL. "The 2030 World Cup will be played on three continents."
"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 said in a statement.
The closing of the 2030 conversations also opens up bids for the 2034 edition, but hosting rights would be open to only nations from Asia and Oceania, with Saudi Arabia and Australia already throwing their hats into the ring, with the latter banking on a successful 2023 Women's World Cup hosting.