World Cup in three continents: a good idea?

The 2030 Men's Football World Cup will be held in six countries across three continents. Spain, Portugal and Morocco have been jointly awarded the contract to host the majority of the matches by the international governing body Fifa. The opening match will be played in Uruguay, with further matches to be held in Argentina and Paraguay. Commentators discuss who benefits from this and how.

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El País (ES) /

Thanks to the women footballers

El País sees the decision in Spain's favour as a vote of confidence by Fifa:

“The inclusion of Portugal and Morocco was decisive to secure support beyond Europe. ... Now there are less than seven years left to organise a championship that lasts almost a month and involves six countries. ... Spain wants to become the main venue after resolving the Rubiales case and reforming the structures of certain sports federations which are still very male-dominated, have been renewed. Fifa's decision is a vote of confidence. At least in part, the players on the male national team have something else for which to thank their female colleagues.”

The Sun (GB) /

Everyone loses out

Holding the World Cup on three continents doesn't make any sense, says The Sun:

“Never mind that football fans will need to mortgage their soul to follow the globe-trotting action. Never mind that players will be expected to perform while enduring the thick fog of jet lag. What about the planet? Whatever your personal beliefs about climate change, we can perhaps all agree that this is not the time to start encouraging recreational air travel on a scale never seen before at any major sporting event.”

Expresso (PT) /

Limited economic benefits

Expresso doubts that Portugal will benefit economically from hosting the 2030 World Cup:

“The main benefit is usually an increase in tourism. Some studies show positive effects on tourism during and, to a lesser extent, after the event. But even these effects are described as limited. Many of the tourists who come to the World Cup replace other tourists who would have come for other reasons. Tax revenues from tourism actually decrease in some cases, as football tourists spend a large part of their money on Fifa's own events, for which no taxes are paid due to the contracts Fifa imposes on host countries.”

Der Spiegel (DE) /

His will be done

Infantino also wants to clear the way for Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 World Cup with the announcement, writes Der Spiegel:

“That's what he always wanted. ... The Saudis are already getting into position. With their offensive aimed at luring numerous prominent players with fantastic salaries, they have secured the attention of the football world. There is plenty of time for all the waves of indignation to die down by 2034. This sounds like a master plan concocted by Fifa boss and the kingdom. ... Now there will be a big uproar again, but in the end things will turn out exactly as Infantino planned. ... Because that is, so to speak, the unwritten law of global football. Infantino's law: his will be done.”