South American countries launch bid for 2030 World Cup

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Four South American nations on Tuesday launched an unprecedented joint bid to host the 2030 Centenary World Cup in hopes of bringing the global centerpiece back to its first home.

“We are in this iconic place where the story began,” said Alejandro Dominguez, president of South American football governing body CONMEBOL, from the Centenario stadium in Montevideo where the first Cup final was played. of the world in 1930.

Uruguay prevailed beating Argentina 4-2, but now the neighbors have united – alongside Paraguay and Chile – to bid for the right to host the 2030 world showpiece under the slogan ” Juntos 2030″ (Together 2030).

“It is not the project of a government but the dream of an entire continent”, added Dominguez.

“There will be other World Cups but the 100th anniversary will only be celebrated once.”

The idea of ​​a joint South American bid for the 2030 tournament was first mooted by Uruguay and Argentina in 2017 and two years later the four potential hosts had been established.

But it took them so far to formalize their candidacy.

And the romantic idea of ​​bringing the tournament back to its first home was central to the plans of football and sport authorities from all four countries present at Tuesday’s launch.

The idea of ​​a World Cup was “thought, analyzed and put into practice here in Uruguay almost 100 years ago”, said Ignacio Alonso, president of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF).

“It has become the biggest sports festival in the world,” he said, praising “the courage, the courage, the intelligence and the effort” that went into organizing the first tournament.

The Paraguayan Dominguez, however, reminded those present that the symbolic argument would not be enough.

“We can’t just rely on sentimentality, we have to play our role and be in condition” to host the World Cup.

“Leave a Legacy”

Uruguayan sports minister Sebastian Bauza said the four countries would submit their bids to FIFA in May 2023, with the world governing body due to make its decision the following year.

“We need to organize a sustainable World Cup that leaves a legacy for these four countries,” Bauza said, adding that some international banks have expressed interest in supporting the bid.

The common South American candidacy will probably come up against at least two other proposals.

Spain and Portugal have officially submitted a joint bid while Morocco have repeatedly insisted they will try to become the second African country to host the final.

The UK and the Republic of Ireland decided in February to drop a joint bid that would have seen five FIFA member federations host the tournament.

There has also been talk of an Israeli bid alongside the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The 2030 tournament will feature 48 teams and Dominguez said around 14 stadiums will be used for around 80 matches.

In contrast, at the Qatar World Cup later this year, 32 teams will play 64 matches across eight venues.

In 1930, there were only 13 teams and the whole tournament was played in the same city – Montevideo – in just three stadiums.

“It is more difficult and more expensive for a country to plan its candidacy on its own,” said Dominguez.

If successful, it would be the first time that as many as four countries have hosted the World Cup.

The 2026 tournament has already been awarded to three countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The last World Cup held in South America was Brazil 2014.

More than half of the 21 World Cup tournaments already organized have taken place in Europe.

AFP


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