Which Countries Are in the Running to Host the 2030 World Cup?

The 2030 World Cup may feel like a long way off right now, but the bidding process for the tournament is set to be launched later this year, with the host nation(s) scheduled to be announced at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024.

FIFA World Cup

It is set to be a fiercely contested battle to stage the 24th edition of the tournament, particularly as it will be taking place in the centenary year of the first World Cup in 1930.

While no official bids have been launched as of yet, there is speculation that nations from around the world will lay out their intentions to host the tournament over the coming months, either solely or as a joint bid between several countries, some of which could come from across different confederations.

UK and Ireland Favouring Euro Bid?

The United Kingdom and Ireland had been heavily tipped to launch a five-nation bid to host the World Cup, but doubts have recently emerged regarding that pursuit given England’s unsuccessful bids for the tournament in 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2018.

It appears those past failures have left members of the FA wary of pursuing another World Cup bid and it is understood that the quintet, made up of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, could instead push forward with a bid to host the European Championship in 2028.

England are the only country from the UK to have previously hosted a major men’s football competition – the 1966 World Cup they went onto win – although Wembley was the venue for a large proportion of the matches at Euro 2020, which was a pan-European tournament.

Emotion Behind South American Bid

There is plenty of emotion behind a potential South American bid for the 2030 tournament, as the very first World Cup was held in Uruguay, who also won the competition, beating Argentina in the final.

Those two nations initially announced their intention to launch a joint bid, but they have since been joined by Paraguay and Chile, with other CONMEBOL nations said to be interested.

A separate proposal involving Ecuador, Peru and Colombia has also been mooted, but perhaps getting behind one bid could give South America the best chance of hosting the tournament.

Football romantics will certainly like the idea of the World Cup returning to its roots for its centenary celebrations.

Morocco Have Come Close Before

Africa has only staged the World Cup once before when the competition was staged in South Africa in 2010, but Morocco appears determined to bring the competition back to the continent having narrowly missed out on the hosting rights for the 2026 tournament to a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

That was the fifth time Morocco have lost out in the bidding process and they may feel their time has now come to be handed the honour, whether that be via a sole bid or potentially by teaming up with North African neighbours Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Other European Proposals on the Table

If the UK and Ireland do switch their attention to bidding to host Euro 2028, then that could open the door for the other European nations considering hosting the World Cup.

Perhaps the strongest of those potential bids will come from Portugal and Spain, who reached an agreement last year to launch their push to win the hosting rights.

Both countries have previous experience of hosting major international tournaments, with Spain having staged the 1982 World Cup and the European Championship of 1964, while Portugal was the host nation for Euro 2004.

The same hosting experience is not held by the other potential European bids from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece, who are also believed to be in the running to stage Euro 2028.

Cross-Confederation Bids Cannot be Ruled Out

It has not happened before, but there is the possibility of countries from different confederations bidding to host the 2030 World Cup.

One such proposal could come from Saudi Arabia, who are interested in hosting the tournament alongside Italy, while if that venture does not materialise, they are also considering teaming up with Egypt or Morocco.

Similarly, UEFA nation Israel are pursuing a potential bid with AFC countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

A fountain of knowledge on football, Tom offers a particular in-depth expertise in EFL and European leagues.
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