In an interview with Argentine sports network TyC Sports, CONMEBOL chair Juan Ángle Napout stated that Colombia and Chile were looking to present a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup. The interview took place in Chile after the draw for the Copa América took place in the city of Viña del Mar.
“It’s very important that CONMEBOL have candidates to organize the World Cup in 2030,” said Napout. “We do not know which one of those bids will have our support in front of FIFA.”
For the past few years, the obvious choice seemed to be Argentina and Uruguay. That World Cup would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the World Cup in the country that first hosted it and would saw the first finalists of that competition when both South American nations played at the Estadio Centenario. Due to the economic situation of Argentina, there are some doubts that this country could host a tournament of this magnitude despite having nearly 15 years to prepare. The Chileans pointed that out when they decided to officially throw their hat into the ring earlier this year. Chilean Minister of Sport Natalia Riffo mentioned right before the World Cup that Argentina had “constant economic instability” that the neighboring country had and it would cause problems for them to be able to deal with this event appropriately.
Meanwhile, Uruguay would still look to host the tournament either on its own or alongside Chile. Uruguayan FA (AUF) president Wilmar Valdez stated on Monday that the federation had plans to host this tournament and would be meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter to finalize details.
For Uruguay, it would be very difficult to host a World Cup on its own given the demands that FIFA place on a nation nowadays. Uruguay would have to do a tremendous overhaul on their infrastructure, hence the need for a second country. This is why Argentina has been considered as well as Chile. Now Colombia will look to make a bid as well after they looked to challenge Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
To have both Colombia and Chile co-hosting tournament would mean travel of up to six hours between cities that find themselves in opposite ends of the continent.
Since then, both nations have hosted youth championships at different levels. Colombia in the meantime hosted the U-20 World in 2011. Chile hosted the U-20 World Cup back in 1987 and will host the U-17 tournament later this year. For the Chileans, having two tournaments of their respective magnitudes in one year was going to use as a dress rehearsal for something like a World Cup. This would give them the sufficient ammunition to go in front of FIFA and see where they would be at to best prepare down the road.
Chile would be looking to host the World Cup for a second time having done so back in 1962. Meanwhile Colombia would be looking to host this tournament at the senior level for the first time in their history. Colombia were originally the nation selected to host the 1986 World Cup, but they stepped down and the tournament was then given to Mexico.
The final decision on this World Cup bid will be made in 2018 when the World Cup takes place in Russia.