The 2030 World Cup will be held across six countries in three continents, in a first for the soccer tournament.
The Athletic revealed on Wednesday that Spain, Portugal and Morocco will co-host the 2030 tournament.
Three South American nations — Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay — will however stage the opening three matches of the World Cup to mark the tournament’s centenary.
The rest of the expanded 48-team tournament will then move to north Africa and Europe, under a proposal from UEFA, the Confederation of African Football and South American confederation CONMEBOL, which was accepted by the FIFA council at a meeting on Wednesday.
The novel hosting arrangement is now subject to formal approval by FIFA’s congress.
Here’s what you need to know about the host nations.
The inside story of the greatest ever World Cup final
Which countries will co-host the 2030 World Cup?
Spain last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1982, with Italy winning the tournament for the third time. It also held the UEFA European Championship in 1964, winning the competition on home soil.
Portugal has never hosted the World Cup, but Euro 2004 was held there. Portugal lost to underdogs Greece in the final.
Morocco has never hosted the World Cup, either. But the country did host the 1988 African Cup of Nations, finishing fourth, and is set to host the tournament once again in 2025.
Uruguay hosted the first ever World Cup in 1930 and defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final.
Argentina also won the tournament on home soil in 1978, but this will be the first ever World Cup match hosted in neighbouring Paraguay.
Will those countries automatically qualify?
Yes. As in previous World Cups, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Spain, Portugal and Morocco will all qualify automatically as co-hosts.
Which stadiums will be used?
That hasn’t been decided yet as the 2030 proposal still needs to be accepted by FIFA’s congress.
But FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed the opening game will be played at Estadio Centenario in Uruguay, the stadium which was purpose built for the 1930 tournament and hosted the final.
He also said all of the co-hosts will play their opening fixtures on home soil.
What about the 2026 and 2034 World Cups?
Canada, Mexico, and the United States will host the 2026 World Cup. It will be the first World Cup hosted by three nations.
FIFA has not decided where the 2034 World Cup will be played, but on Wednesday the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced its intention to bid for the tournament.
The Athletic Football Podcast: Does a 48-team World Cup actually make sense?
Where can I read more?
Go Deeper below.
Morocco, Spain, Portugal to host 2030 WC — but opening games in South America
(Top photo: Getty Images)