The 2030 World Cup will be held across three continents in six different countries with Morocco, Spain and Portugal to host – though the first three matches of the tournament will be played in South America.
FIFA have decided to mark the centenary of the very first World Cup, played back in 1930, by having the first three matches of the tournament played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.
Uruguay, of course, hosted and won the inaugural World Cup while Argentina were the beaten finalists.
Paraguay’s inclusion is on account of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) having their headquarters based in the country, while they were the only confederation in existence at the time of the 1930 World Cup.
The first match of the 2030 World Cup will be played in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo, with the second match featuring Argentina in Buenos Aires and the third Paraguay in Asuncion.
Following the opening three matches in South America, the tournament will then switch to Morocco, Spain and Portugal for the remainder of the competition and all six ‘host’ countries will qualify automatically for the tournament.
The agreement was announced on social media platform X by CONMEBOL boss Alejandro Dominguez, who posted: ‘We aimed high and dreamed big.
‘The 2030 Centenario World Cup starts where it all began. The host of the opening matches of the Centenario World Cup will be Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.’
FIFA’s ruling council voted through the plans on Wednesday afternoon and it will be confirmed at their annual congress in Zurich at the end of the year.
The 2030 competition will feature an expanded tournament with 48 teams and 101 games, with the final expected to be played at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium.
Despite the opening matches being played in South America, the opening ceremony will still take place in either Morocco, Portugal or Spain.
The successful bid means Morocco will finally stage a World Cup after having failed with five previous bids to host the tournament in 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2026.
They had initially launched a solo bid before joining forces with Spain and Portugal in March and the 2030 tournament will see World Cup matches staged in North Africa for the very first time.
FIFA have moved away from having a single host nation in recent years, with the 2026 World Cup to take place across Canada, Mexico and the United States – though the 2030 edition will mark the first time the tournament has been staged across three different continents.
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