Many countries expressed interest in being 2030 hosts. FIFA will take two years to vet them before they make a decision. The final decision will be made in 2024, six more years before the event.
In 2026, the World Cup will expand to 48 teams. This will require future hosts to work together to host events of this magnitude. While there have been two joint bids to host the men’s World Cup so far, proposals for multi-nation hosting are being made for 2030.
The inaugural men’s World Cup tournament took place in 1930. It has been held every 4 years, except 1942 and 1946 because of World War II. If FIFA does not make the 2030 competition a biennial event then it would be the 24th.
Bidding timeline for the 2030 FIFA World Cup & process
The bidding process officially began in the second half of 2022. FIFA announced that will be selected as a host for the 74th FIFA Congress, 2024.
This means that the chosen host will have six year to prepare for the 2030 tournament.
It’s possible that the selection could be made earlier than expected, as was the case at one time with the 2026 World Cup. In this case, the United Bid of USA, Canada, Mexico and Mexico requested an expedited bid process, with no competing bids. FIFA declined this request and Morocco eventually submitted a rival bid.
Spain, Portugal, and Ukraine jointly bid for 2030 World Cup
After the October 2020 announcement, Spain & Portugal became the second official bidders to the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
The “Iberian Bid” is a name that refers to the Iberian Peninsula, where the two nations are located. This is their second bid for a World Cup. Their previous attempts to host it in 2018 and 2022 were unsuccessful.
The announcement that Ukraine would join their bid was made in October 2022. Ukraine wanted to host one group. Ukraine will now host three countries competing in three group stage matches, thanks to the expansion to 48 teams.
Spain would be the tournament’s main hosts. 11 Spanish venues will be chosen from a list of 15 venues. Three Portuguese stadiums and an unknown number from Ukraine would also be included in the tournament’s host list. However, it is unlikely that any of these venues will be needed to host the few matches planned.
Spain hosted a World Cup in 1982, when it hosted the tournament that saw Italy triumph. Portugal, a country with a strong football tradition, has never hosted the World Cup. However, it hosted the 2004 European Championship. Ukraine was the joint-host of the 2012 European championship with Poland.
Is Ukraine able to host matches at the 2030 World Cup?
Ukraine, currently at war, is an interesting addition in the European bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. The 2030 tournament is eight years away. It’s hard to believe that this conflict will last so long. But it will still take many years to prepare for it and it’s not clear what Ukraine’s ability to do it in the next few decades.
With such a limited number of matches, their addition to Europe’s bid could still be a strong pull for FIFA member countries. However, it may also tug at the purses of those watching from around the world as they try to appeal to the emotions.
In their statement, the European bid addressed these concerns. “Our bid is no longer an Iberian bid anymore. It’s a European bidding,” Spanish RFEF president Luis Rubiales declared at a news conference in Switzerland at UEFA’s headquarters upon the announcement that Ukraine had been involved.
“I believe that now our bid will be much better than ever before. Football is universal. If football can make a difference in the lives of people, then it should be used to do good.”
Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay jointly bid for the 2030 World Cup
The initial bid FIFA received for the 2030 World Cup was a joint South American bid from Uruguay and Argentina. This was announced in July 2017.
The most appealing thing about this bid is Uruguay’s hosting of the first World Cup in 1930. It will no doubt be very attractive to host the historic tournament at the spot where it all started.
Paraguay accepted the role of third host in 2019, while Chile joined the bid just months after it was announced. This bid, which includes four countries, is the first to host a World Cup.
Three of the four countries in this bid have hosted a World Cup once before. Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 30 years, Chile hosted the 1962 World Cup and Argentina hosted in 1978. Paraguay, the only member of the group, has never hosted a World Cup. They have however held the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Morocco offers to host the 2030 World Cup
Morocco declared its interest in the 2030 FIFA World Cup in June 2018. The African nation has unsuccessfully bid for the FIFA World Cup five previous times, most recently losing out to Canada, USA, and Mexico for 2026.
Only one African country hosted the FIFA World Cup in the past, with South Africa winning the 2010 tournament.
The Moroccan bid for 2026 was submitted late in the process. It included an intent to spend $16 Billion on tournament preparations. This includes infrastructure, facilities, hospitality and venues.
In the unlikely event that a Saudi Arabia-Egypt joint bid fails to materialize it is possible that Egypt may join the bid before voting is completed. Possible additions to the future include Tunisia, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Potential bids for the 2030 World Cup host
Cross-continental bids with Saudi Arabia & Egypt are gaining momentum. Official FIFA rules about continental rotation stipulate that Saudi Arabia, an Asian confederation to which Saudi Arabia is a member, is not eligible to host. However, they could include a nation from another continent to get around this. Greece may also be in consideration for the bid.
There’s another second potential coalition bid involving Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Serbia, but despite the nations’ stated interest in working together, it is not clear whether this will go through and compete with Spain-Portugal-Ukraine. With UEFA strongly backing the Iberian Bid, this bid appears to be in decline.
These are Europe’s only options after both the UK, and the Republic of Ireland withdrew. Instead of focusing on hosting 2028 Euros, the Republic of Ireland stated that it had a better chance of securing the rights to the European Championship.
FIFA Men’s World Cup host country countries
Europe hosted 11 tournaments out of 23 while South America received six. Six of the remaining World Cup competitions fell between North America (3), Asia (2), and Africa (1).
|Japan & South Korea
|USA, Canada & Mexico