FIFA is already set for historic expansion with the 2026 World Cup thanks to its three-nation hosting plan — but will push the envelope even further with six different host countries across three continents for 2030.
On Wednesday, the global soccer governing body announced its plan to have joint-bidders Morocco, Portugal, and Spain serve as the primary hosts of the 2030 World Cup. In addition, the tournament’s first three matches will be played in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup, which was staged in Uruguay.
This essentially doubles the scale of the 2026 framework — in which the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will co-host — and is designed to spread the tournament’s global reach as much as possible.
FIFA began a co-hosting model for the World Cup in 2002 when Japan and South Korea shared that year’s event, then reverted to a more traditional framework for the subsequent five iterations, including the 2022 tournament in Qatar. The most recent Women’s World Cup also featured a two-nation hosting model, with Australia and New Zealand posting a series of event records.
“In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino. “What a great message of peace, tolerance, and inclusion.”
Not all agree, though, and fan advocacy group Football Supporters Europe blasted the 2030 decision, the increased travel required, and Saudi Arabia’s plan to bid for the 2034 World Cup.
“FIFA continues its cycle of destruction against the greatest tournament on earth,” the group said. “Horrendous for supporters, disregards the environment, and rolls out the red carpet out to a host for 2034 with an appalling human rights record. It’s the end of the World Cup as we know it.”
The six host countries for the 2030 World Cup will each receive automatic bids for the 48-team field.
The 2026 World Cup continues to experience its own drama. FIFA is expected to soon announce the schedule — and particularly which city will host the event final. The race for that coveted match is said to be between New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and Texas’ AT&T Stadium.