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2030 men’s FIFA World Cup to be hosted in six countries across three continents to mark 100-year anniversary of first edition

By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — The 2030 men’s World Cup will be hosted by six countries in three different continents to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the first edition of the tournament, soccer’s world governing body FIFA announced on Wednesday.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco will co-host the tournament, while Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina will all stage an opening match each to mark 100 years since the first World Cup was staged. The 1930 tournament was hosted and won by Uruguay.

“In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “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.”

“The FIFA Council also agreed unanimously that the only bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030 will be the joint bid of Morocco, Portugal and Spain,” added Infantino.

“Two continents – Africa and Europe – united not only in a celebration of football but also in providing unique social and cultural cohesion. What a great message of peace, tolerance and inclusion.

“In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, three continents – Africa, Europe and South America – six countries – Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay – welcoming and uniting the world while celebrating together the beautiful game, the centenary and the FIFA World Cup.”

All six teams will automatically qualify for the 48-team tournament, with FIFA announcing that the first game of the tournament will be played at the Estádio Centenário in Montevideo, the site of the tournament’s first ever final.

“It’s a historic event and CONMEBOL is happy. We’re honoring the memory of those who came before us and today we’re at the level. We appreciate again the confidence that FIFA and our colleagues showed for a historic event and date,” CONMEDBOL president Alejandro Domínguez said during a press conference.

“The good thing is that in having three countries, three hosts, we’re talking about almost no other investment more than what already exists. And that’s very good news because we all know that in that context, unfortunately we’re not able to compete if this had been a question of investment or money demands.

“If this had been a competition where our governments had to commit the funds which today countries commit to be hosts, I think it would have been an irresponsible proposal from us. And I think we wouldn’t have been able to either because we know that there are other countries who have much better economic conditions and fewer priorities than our nations. So I think this is a super responsible and very viable proposal.”

The 2030 edition of the World Cup will see Morocco host the global tournament for the first time, also becoming the first North African side to host official games.

Portugal will also be a new first-time host, with Spain having hosted the competition in 1982.

It had been reported before Wednesday’s announcement that Ukraine would be included in Spain, Portugal and Morocco’s bid, but safety concerns prompted it to withdraw from the running.

The 2030 competition will be the first World Cup to be hosted across three continents, and the first to have games take place in six different countries. The 2026 World Cup will be the only other tournament to be played in more than two countries, with Canada, the US and Mexico co-hosting the event.

FIFA’s congress in 2024 is set to ratify the 2030 World Cup tournament.

Argentina won the previous edition of the men’s World Cup, lifting the trophy in Doha, Qatar, in 2022 after beating France in the final on penalties. It was the third time Argentina had won the tournament.

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