MADRID – The 2030 World Cup will be held in Spain after the joint bid with Portugal and Morocco became the only one eligible for the tournament, as announced by the FIFA Council.
In a historic decision that promises to unite football fans across the globe, FIFA has announced plans for the 2030 World Cup to be hosted jointly by Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. The announcement, confirmed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Twitter, signifies a groundbreaking moment in the tournament’s history. This edition, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup in Montevideo, will span three continents. Matches will take place in six countries: Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.
Six countries, three continents
Spain will therefore host a World Cup again after 48 years. Furthermore, the special feature means that the first three matches will take place in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. This means that six countries, including Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, are now certain of participation.
The 2030 World Cup will be the second to feature 48 teams. This follows an expansion from 32 to this number in the next World Cup. The 2026 World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
World football’s governing body was surprised by this decision, which was initially expected to be taken in September 2024. Now the RFEF, embroiled in a huge crisis due to the Rubiales case, will start working on choosing the stadiums.
In Spain, these could include the following:
- Balaídos (Vigo)
- El Molinón (Gijón)
- San Mamés (Bilbao)
- Reale Arena (San Sebastián)
- La Romareda (Zaragoza)
- Spotify Camp Nou and Stage Front Stadium (Barcelona)
- Santiago Bernabéu and Cívitas Metropolitano ( Madrid)
- Nuevo Mestalla (Valencia)
- Nueva Condomina (Murcia)
- La Cartuja (Seville)
- La Rosaleda (Málaga)
- Gran Canaria (Las Palmas)
ℹ️ Sobre las decisiones fundamentales adoptadas por el Consejo de la FIFA👇
— FIFA.com en español (@fifacom_es) October 4, 2023
The first three games on another continent
For the first time in its history, the World Cup will be held on different continents. And it will not only be in Europe and Africa but also in South America. The first three matches will be held in Uruguay, home of the 1930 World Cup, Argentina and Paraguay. These three teams, will play their first home games a week before the main part of the World Cup begins.
The landmark decision was made during a FIFA Council meeting held via video conference. The opening matches, scheduled in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay, are not only a tribute to the inaugural tournament but also a testament to the sport’s ability to bridge cultural divides.
This decision makes Morocco only the second African nation to host a World Cup, following South Africa’s successful hosting in 2010. Spain, a country deeply rooted in football history, last hosted the tournament in 1982, when Italy emerged victorious for the third time. Portugal, although having hosted Euro 2004, is set to welcome the World Cup for the first time.
‘In a divided world, FIFA and football come together
“In a divided world, FIFA and football unite,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the 2030 World Cup allocation . “The FIFA Council, which represents the entire football world, has unanimously agreed to host the 100th anniversary of the World Cup, the first edition of which was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way. As a result, the celebration will also take place in South America and three South American countries – Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay – will each host one match. The first of these three matches will of course be played in the stadium where it all started, in the mythical Estádio Centenário in Montevideo,” concluded Infantino.
“Spain, Portugal and Morocco guarantee they will work to present the best candidate file and organise a memorable World Cup that honours diversity and celebrates the history of the competition with the passion for football that unites the three countries,” the three countries said in a joint statement.
Response from Spanish Prime Minister
Pedro Sánchez, outgoing Prime Minister of Spain, celebrated the choice of the three countries on X (formerly Twitter): “The appointment of Spain, Portugal and Morocco to host the 2030 World Cup is great news and our great pride.” Sánchez has made efforts to have his country co-organise the Football World Cup. He assured “that we will demonstrate the strength of our country as world champions. And we will defend the values of equality, solidarity and healthy competition that should accompany this sport.”
Es una gran noticia y un gran orgullo la designación de España, Portugal y Marruecos para organizar el Mundial 2030.
Demostraremos la fuerza del fútbol de nuestro país como campeones y campeonas mundiales, y defenderemos los valores de igualdad, solidaridad y competencia sana… pic.twitter.com/bpnH84MRKG
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) October 4, 2023
However, the choice of multiple host nations has not been without controversy. Critics, including Football Supporters Europe, have condemned FIFA’s decision. They raise concerns about the logistical challenges posed by a tournament spanning different continents. But, FIFA remains steadfast in its conviction that this approach will create an unparalleled global spectacle, fostering unity and harmony across borders.
2034 World Cup bids
In a bid to ensure the best possible conditions for organising future tournaments, FIFA has also opened the bidding process for the 2034 World Cup. Countries from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) are invited to submit their bids for consideration. Saudi Arabia has already expressed its intention to bid for the 2034 tournament, marking its first-ever attempt to host the World Cup.