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The six national flags of the 2030 World Cup co-hosts.
globe trotting

FIFA confirms 2030 World Cup to be hosted in six countries, Saudi Arabia confirms bid for 2034

The 2030 tournament will be held in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, but with a group game to be played in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

LAST UPDATE | 4 Oct 2023

THE 2030 FIFA World Cup will be hosted across three different continents for the first time ever. 

Fifa have today announced that all those seeking to bid for the tournament have joined up to form a single, unopposed bid that will sprawl across the world to an extent like never before. 

Spain, Portugal, and Morocco will be the primary hosts, but there will be a group stage game played in each of Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina to mark the centenary of the competition. The first game will be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, the city which hosted the very first World Cup game back in 1930. 

The decision to combine the bids was taken at a meeting of the Fifa Council today, and will be ratified by a vote at Fifa Congress next year. Fifa say Spain, Portugal and Morocco will qualify automatically for the tournament, but did not say whether the three South American sides will be guaranteed a slot at the event. 

“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”, said Fifa president Gianni Infantino. 

Fifa have also said they are accepting bids from the Asian and Oceania confederations to host the 2034 World Cup. Within an hour of Fifa’s announcement, Saudi Arabia has confirmed that it will bid for the 2034 World Cup.  

In a statement, the Saudi Press Agency said that its bid for the 2034 World Cup  is a reflection of the country’s “comprehensive renaissance”.

Sport has been a major focus of the oil-rich kingdom’s effort to elbow its way into the global business sphere despite its abysmal human rights record, a tactic referred to as ‘sportswashing’. 

Elsewhere, Fifa have followed in Uefa’s footsteps in lifting a ban preventing Russian teams from competing in the Fifa U17 World Cup. Fifa say the teams must play under the name ‘Football Union of Russia’ rather than ‘Russia, in neutral colours, and their games cannot feature the Russian flag, the Russian national anthem.  

In a statement, the Fifa Council “reiterated its condemnation of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine and confirmed that the remaining terms of the decision made on 28 February 2022 remain in force until the end of the conflict.” Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup, and Gianni Infantino received a Medal of Friendship from Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in 2019. When asked in February of last year, Infantino declined to say whether he returned the medal. 

The FAI last week issued a statement saying they would refuse to play a game against a Russian U17 side. 

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