SPORTS

Chile participates in first ever four-country FIFA World Cup bid 

Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay launched their official joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. The countries announced the bid on Feb. 7. It is the first time four countries have submitted a joint bid for the tournament. 

A South American World Cup would be symbolic. The year 2030 coincides with the 100-year jubilee of the very first World Cup, held in (and won by) Uruguay in 1930. The centenary, in combination with Argentina’s win of the 2022 World Cup, is a reason the South American football community has high hopes to win the bid. “Argentina’s victory in the World Cup gives additional value to the importance of South America in world soccer and renews and strengthens the hopes for the 2030 World Cup, from the historical and romantic point of view of soccer,” said Pablo Milad, the President of the Chilean National Football Association.  

The “quartet” bid, dubbed the Mundial Centenario, started off in 2017 as a joint-bid intention by Argentina and Uruguay. The inspiration was the idea that Uruguay, the first host, should have the right to organize the jubilee tournament. That same year, Paraguay announced its intent to join the bid. Two years later, Chile revealed its plan to join. The four countries are now officially in the running to host the tournament: on Feb. 7, their respective football associations and sports minister made the announcement.

Other official bids have been submitted by Morocco, and by Spain, Portugal, and Ukraine (another co-host bid). Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru also expressed an interest in co-hosting the event, but have yet to officially announce a bid.

Hosting the World Cup would require Chile to make some significant investments in its stadiums. As of now, there are only two stadiums that seat more than 40,000: Estadio Nacional and Estadio Monumental, both in Santiago. Former President Sebastián Piñera said that, together with Santiago, four more cities would be hosting the Mundial: Concepción, Antofagasta, Valparaíso, and either Coquimbo or Temuco. The stadiums in these cities must be expanded, if Chile will indeed host the tournament.

The host(s) will be chosen during the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024 in Osaka, Japan. The next World Cup will be co-hosted by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 2026.

 

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