The three South American nations receive the same honor as Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.

Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, the hosts for three out of the 104 matches in the 2030 FIFA World Cup, will also benefit from direct qualification, much like the main host countries—Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, as clarified by FIFA last Thursday.

Intercontinental Format

If the intercontinental format revealed last Wednesday meets all technical criteria until its final approval at the end of 2024, the tournament will kick off with six teams automatically qualified among the 48 participating nations, a proportion never seen before.

Initially, FIFA had only mentioned this direct qualification for the three official hosting candidates, Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, but announced last Thursday that the three South American nations would also benefit.

Centenary of world cup

With the expansion from 32 to 48 teams, starting from the 2026 World Cup hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, « three of the six slots » allocated to the South American zone are already filled.

An additional slot will be contested during an intercontinental playoff, as detailed by a spokesperson of the governing body.

Argentina, a three-time world champion, has participated in every finals phase since 1974, while Uruguay has been part of all editions since 2010. On the other hand, Paraguay missed the last three World Cups, with its last participation dating back to 2010 (reaching the quarter-finals).

Initially candidates along with Chile to host the tournament, these three countries eventually withdrew their bids in exchange for hosting the first three matches and the centennial festivities of the World Cup, the first edition of which was held in Montevideo in 1930.

Additional Information

  • This automatic qualification approach aligns with FIFA’s initiative to actively involve host nations in the tournament, fostering a spirited environment for both players and fans.
  • The intercontinental format:
    • Aims to bring a more diverse competition, showcasing teams from different regions and giving them a chance on the global stage.
    • Is expected to enhance the competitive spirit and offer a more engaging experience for audiences worldwide.
  • The 2030 FIFA World Cup holds special significance as it marks the 100th anniversary of the World Cup saga, making the participation of Uruguay and Argentina, the finalists of the first World Cup, symbolically pertinent.