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RFEF announces 15-venue shortlist for 2030 World Cup bid

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has today (Thursday) revealed a shortlist of 15 venues that are seeking to stage matches during the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which Spain is bidding to co-host alongside Portugal.

The 15 venues are: Balaídos (Vigo), Riazor (La Coruña), El Molinón Enrique Castro Quini (Gijón), San Mamés (Bilbao), Anoeta (San Sebastián), La Romareda (Zaragoza), Camp Nou (Barcelona), RCDE Stadium (Cornellá-El Prat), Santiago Bernabéu and Wanda Metropolitano (both Madrid), Nuevo Mestalla (Valencia), Nueva Condomina (Murcia), La Cartuja (Sevilla-Santiponce), La Rosaleda (Malaga), and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).

Nine of the stadiums serve as the home of top-tier LaLiga clubs, while four are used by second-tier teams. Estadio La Cartuja hosts the Copa del Rey final and was also a host venue during last summer’s UEFA European Championship.

Eleven venues in Spain will ultimately be used if the joint bid is successful. A further three stadiums will be used in Portugal.

The requirements for bids for the 2030 World Cup have not yet been published by FIFA, but the RFEF has delivered documentation to venues that have shown an interest in hosting. An evaluation process is set to run until next November.

Stadiums are set to require a capacity of at least 40,000 to host World Cup group-stage matches. The minimum requirement for the semi-finals will be 60,000, and this will rise to 80,000 for the final.

The 2030 World Cup will feature 48 teams, with the competition set to expand starting from the 2026 edition in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Spain and Portugal’s bid for the World Cup is set to face stiff competition from a South American proposal. Last month, a new 65,000-capacity stadium was proposed for the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra as Bolivia aims to play a part in a bid that already involves Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Spain has hosted the World Cup on one previous occasion, in 1982. Portugal has never staged the World Cup but hosted the European Championship in 2004.

The RFEF and Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) officially launched their joint bid in June 2021. The bid has been years in the making with Morocco, which was defeated by the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, having been earlier linked to joining up with Spain and Portugal.

The winning bid for the 2030 World Cup is set to be announced in 2024.

Image: Alessio Patron on Unsplash