The 2030 World Cup is set to be held across six different nations.
A surprise deal to join up rival bids between Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina with that of Spain, Portugal and Morocco was first revealed by Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL, on Wednesday.
The plan will feature the South American trio each hosting their opening game of the tournament to mark the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup, which was held in Uruguay in 1930.
The rest of the tournament will then be played out across Spain, Portugal and Morocco. All six nations are reportedly set to qualify for the 48-team competition as host nations.
FIFA announced the decision shortly afterwards, with no public mention of it being proposed despite hopes of a transparent process to decide the destination of the World Cup following criticism of how previous hosts have been awarded the competition.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed: “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.”
It has also been announced that FIFA will focus on bids from Asia and Oceania for the 2034 World Cup, amid talk of a likely Saudi Arabian bid. This was later confirmed by Saudi Minister of Sport, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal.
“It is a historic event,” said Dominugez. “Three continents coming together to celebrate the centenary of football.
“Six countries coming together, we are tremendously happy. The centenary begins here, at the Estadio Centenario [in Montevideo, Uruguay]. There will be a moment before the game where we celebrate the anniversary. In Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay there will be three inaugurations, not only matches.
“FIFA will give more details, but it is a fact.”