2030 WORLD CUP
Will all six host nations qualify automatically for the 2030 World Cup?
FIFA has announced that six nations - Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay - are to stage games at the 2030 FIFA men’s World Cup.
FIFA has announced that the 2030 men’s World Cup is to be held across six countries and three continents.
In a statement on Wednesday, FIFA said that Spain, Portugal and Morocco’s joint candidacy will be the only bid to host the event.
And world soccer’s governing body also revealed that the South American countries Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will each stage a 2030 World Cup match, as part of the global soccer tournament’s centenary celebrations.
Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930, the home nation beating Argentina in the final to win the inaugural title.
Paraguay appear to have been awarded a game as the country is the traditional home of CONMEBOL, South America’s soccer confederation.
Will all six countries qualify automatically for the 2030 World Cup?
FIFA’s announcement only says that the three chief hosts - Spain, Portugal and Morocco - are to be given an automatic berth at the 2030 World Cup.
There is no mention of automatic qualification for Uruguay, Argentina or Paraguay, suggesting that they will have to negotiate South America’s qualifying tournament as normal.
“Welcoming and uniting the world”
On top of the three South American games, FIFA said in its statement, a “unique centenary celebration ceremony” will take place in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.
“In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint,” the body’s president, Gianni Infantino, said.
“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.”
Morocco follows in South Africa footsteps
Of the trio of principal hosts, only Spain has previously staged a men’s World Cup, in 1982. Morocco will become the second African nation, after South Africa in 2010, to host the tournament.
The plans for the 2030 World Cup are to be ratified at the next FIFA Congress, which is to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2024.