October 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM
We’re still at least four years away from when FIFA will invite countries to bid for the 2030 World Cup, but that didn’t stop a trio of South American countries from announcing their plans for the tournament \Wednesday.
At a meeting in Buenos Aires, the presidents of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay declared their intentions to jointly bid on the quadrennial tournament as a means “to continue consolidating ties” between the countries.
“If you give us the opportunity, we will be great hosts,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said during a joint news conference with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez and Paraguayan President Horacio Carteson on Wednesday (via La Nacion). “This region deserves to host a World Cup; it’s a passion shared by Uruguayans, Paraguayans and Argentines.”
The announcement came after the three shared lunch with officials from FIFA and CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was among the attendees and had glowing things to say about Argentina’s contributions to world soccer earlier in the day.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to be here, in the home of Argentine football,” Infantino said (via the Associated Press). “It is a great emotion to be in a country and in a city that wrote many of the most exciting pages, not only of the history of football, but also its myth. Argentina has contributed to making football what it is today.”
Argentina last hosted a World Cup in 1978, while Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930. Paraguay, which last qualified for the World Cup in 2010, has never hosted a World Cup.
Before 2030 gets decided, however, FIFA still needs to make a decision about the host of the 2026 World Cup, which could go to another joint bid.
In April, the United States, Mexico and Canada formally announced their joint bid for the 2026 tournament, although the United States would host the majority of the matches.
So far, the bid hasn’t seen much in the way of competition, which makes it a likely winner and possibly a precedent-setter going forward in an increasingly globalized world.
“We don’t believe sports can solve all the issues in the world, especially with what’s going on in the world today,” U.S. Soccer Federation boss Sunil Gulati said in April after announcing the joint bid, “[but] we think [a joint bid is] a hugely positive signal and symbol of what we can do together.”
FIFA is tentatively scheduled to make its decision on the 2026 tournament in 2020.
In the meantime, the next two World Cups are set in stone. Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup that kicks off next June, while Qatar won a controversial bid to host the 2022 tournament.