Four South American nations will launch an unprecedented joint bid on Tuesday to host the 2030 World Cup in hopes of returning this global tournament to its first home.
Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile have always been intent on moving forward.
Over three years ago, they committed to setting up a local organizing committee to coordinate with South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL to plan their show.
But it took until now for the “Juntos 2030” (Together 2030) show to be official.
Alejandro Dominguez, president of the South American Football Confederation, said he was focused on the desire to “bring the World Cup back to its home country: South America”.
The first edition of the World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay and was won by the hosts, defeating their neighbors Argentina 4-2 in the final.
The South American joint bid aims to hold the 2030 Final at the same Centenario stadium that hosted the first title match 100 years ago.
“For us it should be called the 2030 Centenary World Cup,” Uruguay’s Sports Minister Sebastian Bauza said.
“What we should focus on is the centenary of the World Cup. The 100th anniversary of the first World Cup will be celebrated here. A return to legend, back to its roots!”
If you succeed, the two tournaments couldn’t be more different.
In 1930, there were only 13 teams and the entire tournament was held in the same city – Montevideo – in only three stadiums.
In 2030, there will be 48 teams with about 15 stadiums in use across the four countries.
If successful, it will be the first time that four countries have hosted the World Cup.
The 2026 championship has already been awarded to three countries – Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Although the Latin American region is one of the regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Chilean Sports Minister Alexandra Benado insisted in an interview published on Monday that the four countries are still in a position to host the tournament.
“Our proposal will be rigorous, sustainable and will meet the demands of FIFA,” Benado told El Mercurio newspaper.
The South American joint bid is likely to come against at least two other proposals.
Spain and Portugal officially submitted a joint bid while Morocco insisted repeatedly that they would try to become the second-ever African country to host the finals.
The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland decided in February to drop a joint bid that would have seen five FIFA member associations host the tournament.
There has also been tentative talk of an Israeli attempt alongside the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The last World Cup hosted by South America was Brazil 2014.
More than the 21 World Cup semi-finals have already been held in Europe, but later this year Qatar will host the finals, only the second time it has been held in Asia.
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