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2030 World Cup: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Greece set to make joint bid

The World Cup could return to Africa should the reported bid by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Greece to host the 2030 finals be successful.

The continent hosted the tournament only once, in 2010 in South Africa, and should Egypt's reported effort alongside Greece and Saudi Arabia go through, it will see Africa be the co-host of the global bonanza.

The bidding process for hosting the 2010 tournament finals was open only to African nations, and in 2004, Fifa selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.

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South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and, in a surprising turn of events, both the 2006 World Cup finalists, Italy and France, were all eliminated in the group stage.

Meanwhile, if the three nations win the bid, it means the matches will have to be played in winter again and not in the usual June/July period, just like the 2022 one – which is the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world.

If the three-nation bid sees the light of the day, it means it will be staged in the middle of the European domestic season due to high temperatures in June and July in the region at that time of year.

The announcement of the 2030 bid by the three countries is understood to be imminent following discussions at senior government level.

It is also understood that Saudi Arabia will be the lead partner and will primarily contribute to the infrastructural costs.

The UK and Ireland abandoned the quest to bid to host the global bonanza, and the European-led bid – which will likely be backed by Uefa – is expected to be a joint one between Portugal and Spain. The Saudi Arabia-Greece-Egypt call will expectedly be supported by Caf member associations and the Asian federations.

The 2030 competition will be a commemoration of 100 years of the World Cup since it was first staged in Uruguay in 1930, and thus a bid from South America is also likely to happen.