FIFA World Cup hosts

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Map of FIFA World Cup final hosts, 1930-2022. Dark green: once; light green: twice

The organization of early FIFA World Cups was awarded to countries at meetings of FIFA's congress. The choice of location was highly controversial, given the three-week boat journey between South America and Europe, the two centres of strength in football at the time. The decision to hold the first cup in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing.[1] The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these, the 1938 FIFA World Cup, in France was controversial, as the American countries had been led to understand that the World Cup would rotate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the tournament.[2]

After World War II, to avoid any future boycotts or controversy, FIFA began a pattern of alternation between the Americas and Europe, which continued until the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The system evolved so that the host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Executive Committee. This is done under an exhaustive ballot system. The decision is currently made roughly seven years in advance of the tournament, though the hosts for the 2022 edition were chosen at the same time as those for the 2018 tournament.

Only Mexico, Italy, France and Germany have hosted the event on two occasions. Brazil will be the host for the second time in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Mexico City's Estadio Azteca is the only venue ever to have hosted two FIFA World Cup finals. Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã is scheduled to host the final of the 2014 World Cup, having already hosted the decisive match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup (the format of the 1950 tournament did not feature a final).

List of hosts[edit]

Details of the candidates and voting follow in the next section.

Year Host Winner
1930  Uruguay  Uruguay
1934  Italy  Italy
1938  France  Italy
1942 Cancelled due to World War II
1946 Cancelled due to World War II
1950  Brazil  Uruguay
1954   Switzerland  West Germany
1958  Sweden  Brazil
1962  Chile  Brazil
1966  England  England
1970  Mexico  Brazil
1974  West Germany  West Germany
1978  Argentina  Argentina
1982  Spain  Italy
1986  Mexico  Argentina
1990  Italy  West Germany
1994  United States  Brazil
1998  France  France
2002  South Korea /  Japan  Brazil
2006  Germany  Italy
2010  South Africa  Spain
2014  Brazil
2018  Russia
2022  Qatar

Voting results[edit]

1930 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Before the FIFA Congress could vote on the first-ever World Cup host, a series of withdrawals led to the election of Uruguay; The Netherlands and Hungary withdrew; this was followed by Sweden withdrawing in favour of Italy; then both Italy and Spain withdrew, in favour of the only remaining candidate Uruguay. The FIFA Congress met in Barcelona, Spain on May 18, 1929 to ratify the decision, and Uruguay was chosen without a vote.


  1.  Uruguay
  2.  Italy withdrew
  3.  Spain withdrew
  4.  Sweden withdrew
  5.  Netherlands withdrew
  6.  Hungary withdrew

1934 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Sweden withdrew before the vote, allowing the only remaining candidate (Italy) to take the hosting job for the 1934 World Cup. The decision was ratified by the FIFA Congress in Stockholm, Sweden and Zurich, Switzerland on May 14, 1932. The Italian Football Federation accepted the hosting duties on October 9, 1932.


  1.  Italy
  2.  Sweden withdrew

1938 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Without any nations withdrawing their bids before the vote, the FIFA Congress convened in Berlin, Germany on August 13, 1936 to decide the next host of the World Cup. Electing France took only one ballot, as France had more than half of the votes in the first round.


  1.  France, 19 votes
  2.  Argentina, 4 votes
  3.  Germany, 0 votes

1950 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Brazil had an official bid for the 1942 World Cup, but the Cup was canceled after the outbreak of World War II. The 1950 World Cup was originally scheduled for 1949, but the day after Brazil was selected by the FIFA Congress on July 26, 1946 in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, the World Cup was rescheduled for 1950.


  1.  Brazil

1954 FIFA World Cup[edit]


The 1954 World Cup hosting duty was decided on July 26, 1946, the same day that Brazil was selected for the 1950 World Cup, in Luxembourg City. This World Cup was also (in addition to the 1950 FIFA World Cup) pushed back a year on July 27, 1946, changing the date from 1953 to 1954.


  1.   Switzerland

1958 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Sweden expressed interest in hosting the tournament.[3] Swedish delegates lobbied other countries at the FIFA Congress held in Rio de Janeiro around the opening of the 1950 World Cup finals.[3] Sweden was awarded the 1958 tournament unopposed in on 23 June 1950.[4]


  1.  Sweden

1962 FIFA World Cup[edit]


West Germany withdrew before the vote, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal on June 10, 1956, leaving two remaining bids. In one round of voting, Chile won over Argentina.


  1.  Chile, 32 votes
  2.  Argentina, 11 votes
  3.  West Germany withdrew

1966 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Spain withdrew from the bidding prior to voting by the FIFA Congress, held in Rome, Italy on August 22, 1960. Again, there was only one round of voting, with England defeating West Germany for the hosting position.


  1.  England, 34 votes
  2.  West Germany, 27 votes
  3.  Spain withdrew

1970 FIFA World Cup[edit]


The FIFA Congress convened in Tokyo, Japan on October 8, 1964. One round of voting saw Mexico win the hosting duties over Argentina.


  1.  Mexico, 56 votes
  2.  Argentina, 32 votes

1974, 1978, 1982 FIFA World Cups[edit]

In an odd set of circumstances, three hosts were chosen in London, England on July 6, 1966 by the FIFA Congress. Spain and West Germany, both facing each other in the running for hosting duties for the 1974 and 1982 World Cups, agreed to give one another a hosting job. Germany withdrew from the 1982 bidding process while Spain withdrew from the 1974 bidding process, essentially guaranteeing each a hosting spot. Mexico, who had won the 1970 hosting bid over Argentina just two years prior, agreed to withdraw and let Argentina take the hosting position.

1974 Bids[edit]

1978 Bids[edit]

1982 Bids[edit]

1974 Results[edit]

  1.  West Germany
  2.  Spain withdrew in exchange for 1982 hosting duties

1978 Results[edit]

  1.  Argentina
  2.  Mexico withdrew, as they had won hosting for World Cup 1970

1982 Results[edit]

  1.  Spain
  2.  West Germany withdrew in exchange for 1974 hosting duties

1986 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Host voting, now handled by the FIFA Executive Committee (or Exco), met in Stockholm on June 9, 1974 and ratified the unopposed Colombian bid.


  1.  Colombia

However, Colombia withdrew after being selected to host the World Cup due to financial problems on November 5, 1982, less than four years before the event was to start. A call for bids was sent out again, and FIFA received intent from three nations:

In Zurich on May 20, 1983, Mexico won the bidding unanimously as voted by the Exco, for the first time in FIFA World Cup bidding history (except those nations who bid unopposed).


  1.  Mexico, unanimous (unknown number of votes)
  2.  Canada,  United States: 0 votes

1990 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Except Italy and the Soviet Union, all nations withdrew before the vote, which was to be conducted by Exco in Zürich on May 19, 1984. Once again, only one round of voting was required, as Italy won more votes than the Soviet Union.


  1.  Italy, 11 votes
  2.  Soviet Union, 5 votes
  3.  Greece withdrew
  4.  England withdrew

1994 FIFA World Cup[edit]


Despite having three nations bidding for host duties, voting only took one round. The vote was held in Zurich (for the third straight time) on July 4, 1988. The United States won the bid by receiving a little over half of the votes by the Exco members.


  1.  United States, 10 votes
  2.  Morocco, 7 votes
  3.  Brazil, 2 votes
  4.  Chile withdrew

1998 FIFA World Cup[edit]


This vote was held in Zurich for the fourth straight time on July 1, 1992. Only one round of voting was required to have France assume the hosting job over Morocco and Switzerland.


  1.  France, 12 votes
  2.  Morocco,   Switzerland; combined 7 votes

2002 FIFA World Cup[edit]


On May 31, 1996, the hosting selection meeting was held in Zurich for the fifth straight time. A joint bid was formed between Japan and South Korea, and the bid was "voted by acclamation," an oral vote without ballots. The first joint bid of the World Cup was approved, edging out Mexico.


  1.  South Korea/ Japan (joint bid, voted by acclamation)
  2.  Mexico


The 2002 FIFA World Cup was co-hosted in Asia for the first time by South Korea and Japan. Initially, the two Asian countries were competitors in the bidding process. But just before the vote, they agreed with FIFA to co-host the event. However, the rivalry and distance between them led to organizational and logistical problems. FIFA has said that co-hosting is not likely to happen again, and in 2004 officially stated that its statutes did not allow co-hosting bids.[5]

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]


On July 6, 2000, the host selection meeting was held for the sixth straight time in Zurich. Brazil withdrew its bid three days before the vote, and the field was narrowed to four. This was the first selection in which more than one vote round was required. Three votes were eventually needed. Germany was at least tied for first in each of the three votes, and ended up defeating South Africa by only one vote after an odd abstention (see below).

Nation Vote
1 2 3
 Germany 10 11 12
 South Africa 6 11 11
 England 5 2 0
 Morocco 2 0 0
Total Votes 23 24 23


The controversy over the decision to award the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany led to a further change in practice. The final tally was 12 votes to 11 in favour of Germany over the contenders South Africa, who had been favorites to win. New Zealand FIFA member Charlie Dempsey, who was instructed to vote for South Africa by the Oceania Football Confederation, abstained from voting at the last minute. If he had voted for the South African bid, the tally would have been 12–12, giving the decision to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who, it was widely believed, would then have voted for South Africa.[6] Dempsey was among eight members of the Executive Committee to receive a fax by editors of the German satirical magazine Titanic on Wednesday, the night before the vote, promising a cuckoo clock and Black Forest ham in exchange for voting for Germany. He argued that the pressure from all sides including "an attempt to bribe" him had become too much for him.[7]

Consequently, FIFA decided to rotate the hosting of the final tournaments between its constituent confederations until the selection of the host for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in 2007, when they announced that they will no longer continue with their continental rotation policy (see below).[8]

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]


The first World Cup bidding process under continental rotation (the process of rotating hosting of the World Cup to each confederation in turn) was the 2010 FIFA World Cup,[5] the first World Cup to be held in Africa. After it was confirmed by FIFA that joint bidding would not be allowed in the future, Libya and Tunisia withdrew both of their bids on May 8, 2004. On May 15, 2004 in Zurich (the seventh time in a row that a host selection has been made there), South Africa, after a narrow loss in the 2006 bidding, defeated perennial candidate Morocco to host, 14 votes to 10. Egypt received no votes.

Nation Vote
 South Africa 14
 Morocco 10
 Egypt 0
Total Votes 24

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]


FIFA continued its continental rotation procedure by earmarking the 2014 World Cup for South America. FIFA initially indicated that it might back out of the rotation concept,[9] but later decided to continue it through the 2014 host decision, after which it was dropped.

Colombia had expressed interest in hosting the 2014 World Cup,[10] but withdrew undertaking the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[11] Chile and Argentina had shown some interest as a joint bid,[citation needed] hoping to follow the same path as Korea-Japan 2002, but withdrew after joint bids were disallowed.[vague] Brazil also expressed interest in hosting the World Cup. CONMEBOL, the South American Football Federation, indicated their preference for Brazil as a host.[12] Brazil was the only nation to submit a formal bid when the official bidding procedure for CONMEBOL member associations was opened in December 2006, as by that time, Colombia, Chile and Argentina had already withdrawn, and Venezuela wasn't allowed to bid.

Brazil made the first unopposed bid since the initial selection of the 1986 FIFA World Cup (when Colombia was selected as host, but later withdrew due to financial problems). The FIFA Executive Committee confirmed it as the host country on October 30, 2007 by a unanimous decision.[13]


  1.  Brazil (unanimous, unknown number of votes)

2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups[edit]

2018 Bids:

FIFA announced on October 29, 2007 that it will no longer continue with its continental rotation policy, implemented after the 2006 World Cup host selection. The newest host selection policy is that any country may bid for a World Cup, provided that their continental confederation has not hosted either of the past two World Cups. For the 2018 World Cup bidding process, this meant that bids from Africa and South America were not allowed. For the 2022 World Cup bidding process, this meant that bids from South America and Europe were not allowed.[14][15] Also, FIFA formally allowed joint bids once more (after they were banned in 2002), due to there being only one organizing committee per joint bid, unlike Korea/Japan, which had two different organizing committees.[16] Countries that announced their interest included Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, United States, the joint bid of Spain & Portugal and the joint bid of Belgium & Netherlands.[14][17][18]

The hosts for both World Cups were announced by the FIFA Executive Committee on December 2, 2010. Russia was selected to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, making it the first time that the World Cup will be hosted in Eastern Europe and making it the biggest country geographically to host the World Cup. Qatar was selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, making it the first time a World Cup will be held in the Middle East and the second time in Asia. Also, the decision made it the smallest country geographically to host the World Cup.[19]

2018 Results
Nation Vote
1 2
 Russia 9 13
 Spain/ Portugal 7 7
 Netherlands/ Belgium 4 2
 England 2 0
Total Votes 22 22
2022 Results
Nation Vote
1 2 3 4
 Qatar 11 10 11 14
 United States 3 5 6 8
 South Korea 4 5 5 0
 Japan 3 2 0 0
 Australia 1 0 0 0
Total Votes 22 22 22 22


Prior to the vote, allegations of bribery resulted in the suspension of two FIFA Executive Committee members, reducing the number of voters to 22.[20] The English bid had also raised complaints after the announcement of Russia as the hosts. FIFA announced that it may decide to re-elect the hosts of these World Cups, as it is probing into bribery allegations further. It may also look into the selection of Germany for the 2006 version of the World Cup. [citation needed]

2026 FIFA World Cup[edit]

A CONCACAF bid for the 2026 World Cup is probable, with Mexico, the USA or Canada the most likely nations to bid.[21] Under FIFA rules as of 2013, the 2026 Cup cannot be in either Europe or Asia,[22] leaving an African bid another possible option.[23]

2026 Bids:

2030 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Two early bids for the 2030 FIFA World Cup have been proposed, with a bid from south-east Asian nation Indonesia [24] and a proposed joint bid from Uruguay and Argentina mooted. The Uruguay–Argentina bid would coincide with the centenary anniversary of the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay.

The Indonesian bid follows the rejection by FIFA of a bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, after the Indonesian government failed to submit a letter to support the bid.[25] With Indonesia unable to bid for the 2026 World Cup due to FIFA rules introduced in 2013 that prohibit the 2026 World Cup being held in either Europe or Asia, the country decided to focus attention on a bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup instead. But as FIFA host selection policy is that any country may bid for a World Cup provided that their continental confederation has not hosted either of the past two World Cups, Indonesia would be allowed to bid for 2030 but Africa and Europe are not Allowed for 2030 World Cup.

So far, there are three likely bids for the 2030 FIFA World Cup:


North America[edit]

South America[edit]

Total bids by country[edit]

Country Bids
Argentina Argentina 6 (1938, 1962, 1970, 1978, 2014, 2030)
Australia Australia 1 (2022)
Belgium Belgium 1 (2018)
Brazil Brazil 4 (1950, 1994, 2006, 2014)
Canada Canada 2 (1986, 2026)
Chile Chile 2 (1962, 2014)
Colombia Colombia 2 (1986[1], 2014)
Egypt Egypt 1 (2010)
England England 4 (1966, 1990, 2006, 2018)
France France 2 (1938, 1998)
Germany Germany 6 (1938, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1982, 2006)
Hungary Hungary 1 (1930)
Indonesia Indonesia 3 (2022, 2030)
Italy Italy 3 (1930, 1934, 1990)
Japan Japan 2 (2002, 2022)
Libya Libya 1 (2010)
Mexico Mexico 5 (1970, 1978, 1986, 2002, 2026)
Morocco Morocco 4 (1994, 1998, 2006, 2010)
Netherlands Netherlands 2 (1930, 2018)
Qatar Qatar 1 (2022)
Portugal Portugal 1 (2018)
Russia Russia 1 (2018)
South Africa South Africa 2 (2006, 2010)
South Korea South Korea 2 (2002, 2022)
Spain Spain 5 (1930, 1966, 1974, 1982, 2018)
Sweden Sweden 1 (1958)
Switzerland Switzerland 2 (1954, 1998)
Tunisia Tunisia 1 (2010)
United States United States 5 (1986, 1994, 2022, 2026, 2030)
Uruguay Uruguay 1 (1930, 2030)


  • ^ Colombia was originally chosen as hosts by FIFA in June 1974. However, the Colombian authorities eventually declared in November 1982 that they could not afford to host the World Cup under the terms that FIFA demanded because of economic concerns. Mexico was selected on 20 May 1983 as the replacement host.


  1. ^ "History of 1930 World Cup". BBC Sport. April 11, 2002. Retrieved 13 April 2006. 
  2. ^ France 1938, FIFA World Cup site. Retrieved on April 13, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Norlin, pp.24–25
  4. ^ "FIFA World Cup: host announcement decision" (PDF). FIFA. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Host nation of 2010 FIFA World Cup - South Africa, FIFA Media Release, May 15, 2004. Retrieved on January 8, 2006.
  6. ^ "FIFA president Blatter a big loser with Germany getting 2006 World Cup" by Robert Wagman, SoccerTimes, July 7, 2000. Retrieved on January 8, 2006.
  7. ^ "German magazine takes credit for bribery hoax", IOL, July 7, 2000. Retrieved on January 8, 2006.
  8. ^ Australia can host World Cup, by Matthew Hall, published 18 September 2005
  9. ^ "Games win inspires bid to host 2018 World Cup" by John Goodbody, The Times, November 16, 2005. Retrieved on January 8, 2006.
  10. ^ BBC News, Colombia bids for 2014 World Cup, 17 July 2006
  11. ^ FIFA, Brazil confirms bid - Colombia withdraws, 13 April 2007
  12. ^ Brazil set to host World Cup, BBC. Retrieved on April 11, 2006.
  13. ^ "Clear declaration to defend the autonomy of sport" (Press release). FIFA. 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  14. ^ a b "The end of the rotation policy: the press conference explaining the decision.". - News Centre. 2007-10-29. 
  15. ^ "Fifa abandons World Cup rotation". BBC SPORT. 2007-10-29. 
  16. ^ "Blatter announces what's to come". FIFA. 2010-06-07. 
  17. ^ "Iberian threat to England's 2018 World Cup bid". ESPNsoccernet. 2007-11-27. 
  18. ^ "Australia Drops Out of Race to Host 2018 World Cup". BBC. 2010-06-10. 
  19. ^ "Russia and Qatar to host 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, respectively". FIFA. 2010-12-02. 
  20. ^ "Temarii to appeal against suspension". ESPN. 2010-11-30. 
  21. ^ "CONCACAF president: North America must host 2026 World Cup". Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Gastelum, Andrew. "CONCACAF president is pushing hard to land 2026 World Cup". LA Times. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "No Rest For The Curious: Looking Ahead To World Cup 2026". World Cup Blog. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Hunt, Luke. "Singapore Plans ASEAN Bid for 2030 World Cup". Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "Indonesia's bid to host the 2022 World Cup bid ends". Retrieved 13 February 2014. 

Other sources[edit]