England boss Gareth Southgate questions ‘integrity’ of 2030 World Cup | Football


Some teams could face travelling an extra 13,000 miles (Picture: Getty Images)

England manager Gareth Southgate has questioned the sporting integrity of holding the 2030 World Cup across three continents and says he is ‘not a fan’ of the tournament plans.

FIFA announced on Wednesday that a joint bid from Spain, Portugal and Morocco would host the 24th edition of the competition, but the first three matches would be played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to mark the centenary of the tournament – which was first played in 1930.

That could see one unlucky team play Argentina in Buenos Aires and then a week later take on another team in Morocco, for example, representing a trip of around 13,000 miles.

Since the announcement, Argentinian officials have also claimed the country would ‘go for more’ games than the single opening match they have currently been allocated.

Now Southgate – who does not expect to still be in charge of the Three Lions by the time the tournament comes around – has hit out at the plans and feels they will remove an element of fairness.

‘My big thing is I don’t quite get the integrity of the competition,’ said the England boss on Thursday.

‘You would have to play one game… 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.

Argentina to Host One of the Opening Matches of FIFA World Cup 20230

Argentina want to host more than just one match in 2030 (Picture: Getty)

‘I know we had that a little bit with the last Euros but that would seem quite disjointed and [a] different landscape for different teams in different groups. So from what I’ve seen, I’m not a fan.

‘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.’

Southgate was more upbeat on news that the UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028 had got the green light, saying: ‘Well, it’s clearly a joint bid with all the other home nations so brilliant for everybody if that opportunity arises.

‘There’s still a little bit to do, I think. But I think you know, all the nations are fantastic football nations, huge pride.

‘They’ll have huge pride in hosting and if the teams get qualified as well then there’s obviously some home advantage to hosting as well.’

MORE : World Cup 2030 to be held in three continents with first three matches in South America

MORE : Kevin Keegan says he ‘doesn’t like listening to lady footballers talking about England men’s team’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.

General Sport

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2347068606071 Email: info@newspotng.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here