From: ADAMU DABO
FIFA have decided to mark the centenary of the very first World Cup, played back in 1930, by having the first three matches of the tournament played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.
Uruguay hosted and won the inaugural World Cup in Montevideo, while Argentina were the beaten finalists.
Paraguay’s inclusion is on account of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) having their headquarters based in the country, while they were the only confederation in existence at the time of the 1930 World Cup.
The first match of the 2030 World Cup will be played in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo, with the second match in Buenos Aires and the third in Asuncion.
Following the opening three matches in South America, the tournament will then switch to Morocco, Spain and Portugal for the remainder of the competition and all six ‘host’ countries will qualify automatically for the tournament.
FIFA’s ruling council voted through the plans on Wednesday afternoon, and it will be confirmed at their annual congress in Zurich at the end of the year.
The 2030 competition will feature an expanded tournament with 48 teams and 101 games, with the final expected to be played at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Despite the opening matches being played in South America, the opening ceremony will still take place in either Morocco, Portugal or Spain.