South American coalition relaunches bid for 2030 World Cup

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In this May 31, 2014 file photo, a player controls a ball during a game of beach soccer on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Buenos Aires, Argentina (AP) — A South American coalition hoping to host the 2030 World Cup relaunched its bid on Wednesday with the addition of Chile to the group.

The head of South American soccer body CONMEBOL, Alejandro Dominguez, announced the decision after a meeting in Buenos Aires with the presidents of the four nations, which also include Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Argentina President Mauricio Macri said the South American bid will face “tough competitors.”

“That is why this work has to begin as soon as possible,” Macri said at Argentina’s presidential palace.

Argentina and Uruguay, the country that hosted and won the first World Cup in 1930, initially planned to bid for the 2030 tournament together before Paraguay was added later.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said in February his country would join the bid.

The Argentina-Uruguay-Paraguay bid was made official to FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino during his visit to Buenos Aires in October 2017, but lost ground because of Argentina’s economic troubles.

The South American presidents agreed that if their bid is successful the final and the opening match will be played in different countries. They also agreed that the countries not involved in those games will hold the two semifinals.

Uruguay hosted the World Cup in 1930, Chile did it in 1962 and Argentina won its home edition in 1978.

The host for the 2030 event will be announced at the FIFA Congress in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup. Other bidders might include Britain together with Ireland and coalition of Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.