What Country Will Host the 2030 World Cup, and When Will FIFA Announce the Location?

As the 2022 World Cup comes to a close, the thoughts and minds of the soccer world turn to the 2026 World Cup, which the United States, Mexico, and Canada will co-host. But how about after that? Where will World Cup 2030 be? As of late 2022, that question has no definitive answer. However, what we do know are the countries that are bidding for the tournament and when FIFA will make its final decision. So, let’s look at where the 2030 World Cup could be held and when we’ll know for sure.

World Cup 2030 bids

As the 2022 World Cup wraps up, what we know about World Cup 2030 in eight years are (most of) the countries who are bidding to host the event. There are currently three solid bids for the tournament, as well as a few others that are unlikely but not officially out.

Spain — Portugal — Ukraine

The initial European bid for World Cup 2030 was a joint Iberian Peninsula bid featuring Spain (which hosted the 1982 tournament) and Portugal, a country that has never hosted.

In a surprising twist, UEFA added Ukraine to the bid in October 2022, despite the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv being over 2,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid.

Whether adding Ukraine helps or hurts this bid will be interesting to see. On the one hand, even though the 2030 World Cup is eight years away, it is impossible to say right now if the country will be able to host with the ongoing war with Russia.

On the other hand, FIFA has faced criticism from both Ukraine and the global community for keeping its lucrative contracts with Russian soccer entities. Awarding the tournament (at least partially) to Ukraine in 2030 could smooth over some of that tension.  

Uruguay — Argentina —Chile — Paraguay

When the World Cup 2030 bidding process started, it looked like a Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru joint bid would be the play for South America. However, that has now shifted to become a Uruguay-led joint bid with Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay.

The big deal here is that 2030 marks the 100th anniversary of the first-ever World Cup, played in Uruguay in 1930. The inaugural event took place at three stadiums in the Uruguayan capital city of Montevideo, and having the 2023 World Cup Final back in that location would provide nice symmetry.

Additionally, Chile hosted the event in 1962, and Argentina had the 1978 event, which the home country won. Paraguay, the ninth-biggest country (out of 12) by population on the continent, has never hosted a World Cup.

Morocco

The heartwarming underdog story of the 2022 World Cup is Morocco. The 22nd-ranked team in the world has made it all the way to the semifinals against the defending champions, France. Likewise, the Moroccan bid for the 2030 World Cup is the underdog of this bidding process.

Morocco has bid for the tournament multiple times in the past, failing each time. This time around, there have been talks of joining with Egypt and Saudi Arabia or Algeria and Tunisia for a joint bid. However, as of late 2022, those partnerships have failed to officially materialize.

Whether they do it with other countries or go it alone, Morocco wants the World Cup in 2030 and has officially thrown its hat in the ring.

Other potential bids

Since there is still time before FIFA makes a final decision about the 2030 World Cup (more on that below), there is still time for other countries or groups of countries to get their bids in.

Among the rumored bids still out there, there are several groups encompassing soccer federations from more than one continent who may join the fray. If Saudi Arabia (from the Asian federation) and Egypt (from Africa) don’t join Morocco, they could do a three-country bid that includes Greece (from Europe). Also, Israel (part of UEFA) could make a joint bid with the UAE and Bahrain (from the Asian federation).

Australia (with or without New Zealand and/or Indonesia) could as vie for the 2030 tournament, as could China (with or without some combination of South Korea, North Korea, and/or Japan). This Asian bid would necessitate FIFA changing its rules on hosting. Right now, since the Asian federation country of Qatar hosted in 2022, another AFC bid wouldn’t be able to win until 2034.

When will FIFA announce the location of the 2030 World Cup?

World Cup 2030, World Cup, FIFA
The logos of the Portuguese Football Federation (L), the Spanish Football Federation (C), and the Ukraine Football Federation, which are making a joint bid for World Cup 2030 | GABRIEL MONNET/AFP via Getty Images
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World Cup 2030 is incredibly significant for FIFA as it is the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup in 1930. There is also a lot of pressure on the World Cup’s governing body to make a good decision on 2030 after making ethically and competitively questionable ones over the last decade, awarding the tournament to Russia and Qatar.  

We won’t know FIFA’s final decision, though, for another year and a half. Standard practice for awarding the every-four-years tournament is making the final decision and the announcement six years before the tournament.

That means FIFA will announce the location of the 2030 World Cup sometime in 2024.

A lot can happen in 18 months, so while it seems like the world will be watching a team raise the iconic gold trophy in Spain, Uruguay, or Morocco in July 2030, that’s still anything but a sure bet right now.