The football world is abuzz with excitement as nations are preparing to bid for the opportunity to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. The tournament is set to be a major event and the chance to host it is highly coveted. In this article, we will take a look at the current state of the race to host the 2030 World Cup and what factors are at play.
Joint South American Bid:
Four South American countries have confirmed their candidacy to host the tournament, with Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay making a joint bid. Uruguay, which hosted the first-ever World Cup in 1930, sees the centenary of that tournament as a major factor in their bid. The country is eager to celebrate the history of the World Cup by hosting the tournament once again. Rumors suggest that Saudi Arabia could compete with the South American nations and submit an official bid for hosting the second Arab World Cup.
Joint European Bid:
Spain and Portugal announced their joint bid for the 2030 World Cup in October 2020, known as the “Iberian Bid.” In early October 2022, Ukraine announced that they would be joining the bid, with Ukraine looking to host one group of the tournament. Spain and its partners, Portugal and Ukraine, will select 11 Spanish venues from a 15-stadium shortlist, three Portuguese stadiums, and an unknown number of Ukrainian venues to serve as host sites for the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Despite the ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine has received the backing of the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Controversy Surrounding Ukrainian Involvement:
However, not everyone is happy about Ukraine’s involvement in the bid, with some accusing the European bid of political motives. The fact that Ukraine is only set to host three matches, compared to the minimum of ten matches that each host nation in the 2026 World Cup will host, raises questions about the necessity of Ukraine’s involvement. Additionally, the geographical distance between Spain and Portugal and Ukraine has also raised concerns about the competitiveness of teams required to travel for their matches.
The Bidding Process:
FIFA officially launched the bidding process for the 2030 World Cup in the second quarter of 2022 and announced that they will choose a host at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024. However, they could finish the selection process earlier if there are no rival bids. Planning for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups is already underway, with the 2026 tournament set to take place in North America and Mexico. With the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams beginning in 2026, future hosts may have to team up to host such a large-scale event.
The race to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup is heating up, with four South American countries and a joint European bid confirmed so far. FIFA will vet the bids over the next two years and make a final decision in 2024, granting the selected host six years to prepare for the tournament. The world awaits to see who, whether the South American nations or the joint European bid, will host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.