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Argentina to be main player in South American World Cup bid

Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have moved forward with their joint bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup by announcing the breakdown of how the 12 host cities for the national team football tournament would be split between the three South American countries.

At a meeting held between the three national associations and including various government officials yesterday (Monday) in Buenos Aires, it was announced that Argentina would have eight host cities, with two apiece in Paraguay and Uruguay.

The identities of the host cities were not revealed, but Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia did disclose that the city of Santiago del Estero is planning to build a new stadium and has already been proposed as a World Cup host.

In November, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay formalised a pact to launch a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup, with Paraguay having been added to the masterplan in August. Argentine officials yesterday said they met with national team captain Lionel Messi during a recent trip to Spain.

“At all times we found (Messi) willing to help us spread the word about the possibility that the three countries organise the World Cup,” Argentina’s Sport Secretary Carlos Mac Allister said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “It’s very important for us to feel that we have the support of players and that it is completely unattached from any political connotation.”

Guidelines have yet to be disclosed about the cost of a successful World Cup bid. “Today, we can’t say what the final costs will be to each of our countries, but it cannot be measured only in the building of infrastructure,” Uruguay Sports Secretary Fernando Caceres added.

“There’s an intangible measure, which is how much a country earns in coexistence, in integration, identity, and the construction of citizenship by hosting an event of this magnitude.”