FIFA has finally announced the hosts for the 2030 World Cup, and as expected, the tournament is coming to South America. Except it’s not happening quite the way we expected it. Instead, the 2030 tournament is set to be played across three continents, with inaugural games played in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay before the World Cup moves to Europe, with games in Portugal and Spain, and then Africa, with games in Morocco.
The compromise comes after the strongest bids for the 2030 tournament started teaming up. First, the Spain-Portugal bid added Morocco. Then, FIFA secured an agreement between fútbol’s continental leaders to merge all candidacies into one. This candidacy still has to be approved next year at a meeting with the 211 member federations, but the approval vote is considered a formality.
One of the key reasons for adding the South American teams to the bid is the nostalgia factor. Uruguay hosted the first Mens’ World Cup in 1930, so there was interest from FIFA in holding the inaugural game in Uruguay, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the tournament.
“The centennial World Cup could not be far from South America, where everything began,” Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American fútbol association CONMEBOL said. Meanwhile, FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed in a statement that “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.”
The 2030 FIFA World Cup, which is set to feature 48 teams and 104 games is scheduled for June-July of 2030. Though details have not yet been revealed, the plan is to start with games in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, before shifting to Spain, Portugal, and Morroco. The World Cup before that, in 2026, will be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.