The FIFA World Cup in 2030 will be held across six countries in three continents.
This decision was confirmed by the international governing body of football earlier today with the decision set to be gratified at a FIFA congress next year.
Spain, Portugal and Morocco have been named as the co-hosts, with the first three matches taking place in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
If the 2030 proposal is approved, Morocco will become the second African nation to host a World Cup after South Africa in 2010.
The opening matches will be held in South America to mark the World Cup’s centenary as it will be 100 years since the inaugural tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay.
FIFA has also confirmed that only bids from the countries that made up the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation will be considered for the 2034 finals. That announcement has seen Saudi Arabia announce that it will be making a bid to host the 2034 tournament which if they were to be successful, would be the first time they ever hosted the competition.
Speaking on the 2030 tournament, President of FIFA Gianni Infantino said: “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting. The FIFA Council, representing the entire world of football, unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, whose first edition was played in Uruguay in 1930 in the most appropriate way.”
He continued saying: “In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, three continents – Africa, Europe and South America and six countries Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay – which welcomes and unites the world while celebrating together the beautiful game, the centenary and the FIFA World Cup.”
Montevideo, where the first World Cup match was posted in 1930, is poised to stage the opening game in 2030 with matches in Argentina and Paraguay to follow. The rest of the tournament will then move to North Africa and Europe.
Spain’s announcement as joint hosts comes in the aftermath of the resignation of their former football federation chief Luis Rubiales who left the Spanish Football Association after receiving global criticism for kissing Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup.
Rubiales was given a restraining order by a Spanish judge but denied sexually assaulting Hermoso.
The nation last hosted the World Cup in 1982 with Italy winning the tournament for the third time. Their neighbours Portugal have never hosted a World Cup but held Euro 2004 which underdogs Greece won.
All six nations will automatically qualify for the 2030 World Cup as hosts. (JC)