BUENOS AIRES: The prospect of the centenary World Cup in 2030 being staged, at least in part, by original host Uruguay remains alive according to political leaders from both side of the River Plate writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
A reiteration of a joint will to submit a cohosting bid was given after talks in Buenos Aires between Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri and Uruguayan leader Tabare Vazquez.
The inaugural finals were staged in Uruguay in 1930 and sports and political leaders have spoken repeatedly in recent years of seeking a way to bring the tournament ‘home’ in 14 years’ time.
Economic problems and a refusal to consider cohosting by world federation FIFA had appeared to render such talk fanciful.
However new FIFA president Gianni Infantino indicated earlier this month not only that he was not opposed to cohosting but saw it as the only viable way to fulfil his dream of an tournament expanded from its current 32 teams to 40 or 48.
Macri told a news briefing that the South American neighbours “will work together to aspire to host the 2030 World Cup.”
To stand any realistic chance of convincing FIFA of the practicalities, any southern South American cohosting might also have to involve Chile.
Competition for 2030 will be tough, with interest likely from Europe as well as China.
FIFA is expected to reintroduce rotation of continents for 2026 which is expected to be awarded to the United States with support from Mexico and/or Canada.
However no decision has been indicated re rotation for 2030, giving China hope only two tournaments after an Asian staging in Qatar in 2022.