Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile have announced a joint bid to co-host the 2030 football World Cup finals under the motto Together 2030. The intended 2030 tournament will feature 48 teams and some 80 matches will be played in 14 stadiums. The last World Cup to be held in South America was ”Brazil 2014
The Qatar World Cup later this year will feature 32 teams playing 64 matches in eight venues. FIFA's decision on where to host the event, world affairs permitting, is still due.
South American Football Confederation President Alejandro Domínguez of Paraguay said the joint bid went beyond nostalgia. We are in this iconic place where history began,” he said, meaning that the first World Cup finals were played in Uruguay in 1930. The host team beat neighbors Argentina 4-2 to keep the title at Montevideo's iconic Centenario stadium.
Chile hosted the 1962 finals (won by Brazil) and Argentina had its own World Cup in 1978, where they beat The Netherlands 3-1 in extra time for the crown.
This is not the project of a government but the dream of a whole continent, Domínguez pointed out. There will be other World Cups but 100 years will be celebrated only once.
The idea of a joint South American bid for the 2030 tournament was first mooted by Uruguay and Argentina in 2017. And the romantic idea of bringing the tournament back to its first home was central to the plans of the football and sporting authorities from the four countries.
The idea of a World Cup was thought up, analyzed, and put into practice here in Uruguay almost 100 years ago, said Ignacio Alonso, president of the Uruguayan football association (AUF). It became the greatest sporting festival in the world, he said, praising the guts, courage, intelligence and effort that went into putting on the first tournament.
Uruguay's sports minister, Sebastian Bauza, said the four countries would present their bid to FIFA in May 2023, with the world governing body due to make its decision the year after. We have to put on a sustainable World Cup that leaves a legacy for these four countries, said Bauza, adding that some international banks had expressed an interest in supporting the bid.
The joint South American bid will likely face two challenges: Spain and Portugal have officially submitted a joint bid while Morocco has repeatedly insisted they will bid to become only the second ever African country to host the finals. There have also been talks of an Israeli bid alongside the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
In 1930 there were only 13 teams and the entire tournament was played in the same city - Montevideo - in just three stadiums.
If the South American bid is successful, it would be the first time that as many as four countries host the World Cup. The 2026 tournament has already been awarded to three countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
More than half of the 21 World Cup tournaments already staged have been in Europe.
Regarding co-hosting the 2030 Football World Cup, Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou said the government was “willing to help” in issues such as “country branding and investments.”
“If there is a moment when the bus passes and we have to take it, it is 2030,” said Lacalle, who admitted Montevideo's Centenario Stadium was the key magnet to bring the event back to where it all started in 1930.
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