FIFA’s decision to host the 2030 World Cup across six countries on three continents could lead to issues in sporting integrity, England manager Gareth Southgate said.
In a surprise announcement a year earlier than planned, world football’s governing body allocated the 2030 World Cup to Morocco, Spain and Portugal but also said Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay would host three opening matches to mark the tournament’s centenary.
On Thursday, Argentine government officials and the local football federation said the country would “go for more” games, which could further increase travel for teams and fans.
“My big thing is I don’t quite get the integrity of the competition,” Southgate told reporters on Thursday.
“I’d need to see it all laid out but my understanding is three matches played in South America, then those teams have to travel across the globe, change time zone again, and pick up the competition with home advantage in one part of the group and not another part.”
The previous edition of the European Championships was also hosted across a number of different countries in Europe, but Southgate said the 2030 World Cup plans seemed “quite disjointed” in comparison to that tournament.
“From what I’ve seen, I’m not a fan,” Southgate said.
“Argentina in Buenos Aires would not be great. Logically, you could play Argentina in Buenos Aires and have to travel back.
“There is a big difference between playing Argentina in Buenos Aires and playing them in Casablanca. That is a significant change to the competition.”