FIFA World Cup hosts

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Map of FIFA World Cup final hosts, 1930–2014. Dark green: twice; middle green: once; light green: planned until 2022

Sixteen countries have been FIFA World Cup hosts in the competition's twenty tournaments since the inaugural World Cup in 1930. The organization was at first awarded to countries at meetings of FIFA's congress. The choice of location was controversial in the earliest tournaments, 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] The first tournament following World War II, held in Brazil in 1950, had three teams withdrawing due to either financial problems or disagreements with the organization.[3]

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 which took place in Asia. 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 tournament were chosen at the same time as those for the 2018 tournament.

Only Mexico, Italy, France, Germany (West Germany until shortly after the 1990 World Cup) and Brazil have hosted the event on two occasions. Mexico City's Estadio Azteca and Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã are the only venues ever to have hosted two FIFA World Cup finals. Only the 2002 FIFA World Cup had more than one host, being split between Japan and South Korea.

List of hosts

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

1930 FIFA World Cup


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.[citation needed]


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

Notice that the celebration of the first World Cup coincided with the centennial anniversary of the first Constitution of Uruguay. For that reason, the main stadium built in Montevideo for the World Cup was named Estadio Centenario.

1934 FIFA World Cup


Sweden decided to 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


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. Nazi Germany Germany, 0 votes

Cancelled FIFA World Cups 1942 and 1946

Bids for 1942:

Cancelled election of the host due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.

Bids for 1946:

  • none

1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cups

1949 bid


Brazil, Argentina, and Germany had official bid for the 1942 World Cup, but the Cup was cancelled 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 bid


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. On July 27, 1946, the FIFA Congress pushed back the 5th World Cup finals for three years, deciding it should take place in 1954.


  1.   Switzerland

1958 FIFA World Cup


Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Sweden expressed interest in hosting the tournament.[4] Swedish delegates lobbied other countries at the FIFA Congress held in Rio de Janeiro around the opening of the 1950 World Cup finals.[4] Sweden was awarded the 1958 tournament unopposed in on 23 June 1950.[5]


  1.  Sweden

1962 FIFA World Cup


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


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


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
  3.  Australia withdrew
  4.  Colombia withdrew
  5.  Japan withdrew
  6.  Peru withdrew

1974, 1978, 1982 FIFA World Cups

Three hosts for the 1974, 1978, and 1982 World Cups 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

1978 bids

1982 bids

1974 results

  1.  West Germany
  2.  Spain withdrew in exchange for 1982 hosting duties
  3.  Italy withdrew
  4.  Netherlands withdrew

1978 results

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

1982 results

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

1986 FIFA World Cup


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 vote
  2.  Canada,  United States 0 votes

1990 FIFA World Cup


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.  Austria withdrew
  4.  England withdrew
  5.  France withdrew
  6.  Greece withdrew
  7.  Iran withdrew
  8.  West Germany withdrew
  9.  Yugoslavia withdrew

1994 FIFA World Cup


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


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.


  1.  France, 12 votes
  2.  Morocco, 7 votes
  3.   Switzerland withdrew
  4.  England withdrew
  5.  Germany withdrew

2002 FIFA World Cup


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 (The final was held in 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.[6]

2006 FIFA World Cup


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 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.[7]

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.[8]

On 4 August 2000, consequently, FIFA decided to rotate the hosting of the final tournaments between its constituent confederations. This was until October 2007, during the selection of the host for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when they announced that they will no longer continue with their continental rotation policy (see below).[9][10]

2010 FIFA World Cup


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,[6] the first World Cup to be held in Africa. On 7 July 2001, during the FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires, an decision was ratified, which was that the rotation will begin in Africa.[11] On 23 September 2002, FIFA's Executive Committee confirmed that only African member associations, would be invited to submit bids to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[12]

In January 2003, Nigeria entered the bidding process, but withdrew their bid in September.[13][14] In March 2003, Sepp Blatter initially said Nigeria's plan to co host the 2010 FIFA World Cup with four African countries would not work.[15] Nigeria had originally hoped to bid jointly with West African neighbours Benin, Ghana, and Togo.

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 consecutive time 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
 Nigeria Withdrew
 Libya/ Tunisia Withdrew
Total votes 24


On 28 May 2015, media covering the 2015 FIFA corruption case reported that high-ranking officials from the South African bid committee had secured the right to host the World Cup by paying US $10 million in bribes to then-FIFA Vice President Jack Warner and to other FIFA Executive Committee members.[16]

On 4 June 2015, FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, having co-operated with the FBI and the Swiss authorities, confirmed that he and the other members of FIFA's executive committee were bribed in order to promote the South African 1998 and 2010 World Cups. Blazer stated, "I and others on the Fifa executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup." [17][18]

On 6 June 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported that Morocco had actually won the vote, but South Africa was awarded the tournament instead.[19]

2014 FIFA World Cup


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,[20] 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,[21] but withdrew undertaking the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[22] Brazil also expressed interest in hosting the World Cup. CONMEBOL, the South American Football Federation, indicated their preference for Brazil as a host.[23] 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 was not 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 for financial problems). The FIFA Executive Committee confirmed it as the host country on October 30, 2007 by a unanimous decision.[24]


2014 FIFA bidding (majority 12 votes)
Bidders Votes
Round 2 Round 1
 Brazil N/A N/A
 Argentina Withdrew
 Colombia Withdrew

2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups

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.[25][26] 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.[27] Countries that announced their interest included Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, United States, the joint bid of Spain and Portugal and the joint bid of Belgium and Netherlands.[25][28][29]

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.[30]

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

Accusations of bribery

Prior to the vote, allegations of bribery resulted in the suspension of two FIFA Executive Committee members, reducing the number of voters to 22.[31]

In May 2011, allegations of corruption within the FIFA senior officials raised questions over the legitimacy of the World Cup being held in Qatar. According to then vice-President Jack Warner, an email has been publicised about the possibility that Qatar 'bought' the 2022 World Cup through bribery via Mohammed bin Hammam who was president of the Asian Football Confederation at the time. Qatar's officials in the bid team for 2022 have denied any wrongdoing.[32]

A whistleblower, revealed to be Phaedra Almajid, alleged that several African officials were paid $1.5 million by Qatar.[33] She later retracted her claims of bribery, stating she had fabricated them in order to exact revenge on the Qatari bid team for relieving her of her job with them. She also denied being put under any pressure to make her retraction. FIFA confirmed receiving an email from her which stated her retraction.[34][35]

On June 1, 2014, the Sunday Times claimed to have obtained documents including e-mails, letters and bank transfers which allegedly proved that Bin Hammam had paid more than US$5 million to football officials to support the Qatar bid. Bin Hamman and all those accused of accepting bribes denied the charges [36]

More suspicions emerged in March 2014 when it was discovered that Jack Warner, who was made to leave his post as president of CONCACAF in disgrace, and his family were paid almost $2 million from a firm linked to Qatar's successful campaign. The FBI is investigating Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid.[37]

2026 FIFA World Cup

A CONCACAF bid for the 2026 World Cup is probable, with Mexico, USA, and Canada the most likely nations to bid.[38] Under FIFA rules as of 2013, the 2026 Cup cannot be in either Europe or Asia,[39] leaving an African bid, a North American bid, a South American bid or an Oceania bid as other possible options.[40] However, at the FIFA Congress held on 30 May 2015 in Zurich, that decision changed, prohibiting only bids from Asia and allowing everyone else to bid.[41]

The bidding process was originally scheduled to start in 2015, with the appointment of hosts scheduled for the FIFA Congress on May 10, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[42][43] However, on 10 June 2015, FIFA announced that the bid process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup was postponed with no new bid schedule announced.[44][45]

Confirmed 2026 Bids:

2030 FIFA World Cup

Six early bids for the 2030 FIFA World Cup have been proposed, with a collective bid from the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,[49] a proposed bid by the Football Federation of Chile,[50] a proposed joint bid from Uruguay and Argentina,[51] a proposed bid from Colombia,[52][53] a proposed bid from England, and a proposed joint bid from New Zealand and Australia.[54][55]

The Uruguay–Argentina bid would coincide with the centennial anniversary of the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay and the bicentennial of the first Constitution of Uruguay. England FA vice president David Gill has proposed that his country could potentially bid for 2030, provided that the bidding process is made more transparent.[56]

2030 Bids:

Total bids by country

World Cup-winning bids are bolded. Planned but not-yet-official bids for 2026 and beyond are not included.

Country Bids Years
 Germany 6 1938, 1962,[lower-alpha 1] 1966,[lower-alpha 1] 1974,[lower-alpha 1] 1982,[lower-alpha 1] 2006
 Mexico 5 1970, 1978, 1986,[lower-alpha 2] 2002, 2026
 Spain 1930, 1966, 1974, 1982, 2018[lower-alpha 3]
 Argentina 1938, 1962, 1970, 1978, 2030
 Brazil 4 1950, 1994, 2006, 2014
 England 1966, 1990, 2006, 2018
 Morocco 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010
 Colombia 3 1986,[lower-alpha 2] 2014, 2026
 Italy 1930, 1934, 1990
 United States 1986, 1994, 2022
 Canada 2 1986, 2026
 Chile 1962, 2014
 France 1938, 1998
 Japan 2002,[lower-alpha 4] 2022
 Netherlands 1930, 2018[lower-alpha 5]
 Russia 1990,[lower-alpha 6] 2018
 South Africa 2006, 2010
 South Korea 2002,[lower-alpha 4] 2022
  Switzerland 1954, 1998
 Uruguay 1930, 2030
 Australia 1 2022
 Belgium 2018[lower-alpha 5]
 Egypt 2010
 Greece 1990
 Hungary 1930
 Indonesia 2022
 Iran 1990
 Libya 2010
 Qatar 2022
 Portugal 2018[lower-alpha 3]
 Sweden 1958
 Tunisia 2010
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bid by West Germany, which was joined by East Germany in 1990 to form the reunified nation of Germany.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Joint bid by Portugal and Spain.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Joint bid by Japan and South Korea.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joint bid by Belgium and the Netherlands.
  6. Bid by the Soviet Union, which dissolved into multiple countries in 1991 and whose records are inherited by Russia.

Host country performances

It is widely considered that home advantage is common in the World Cup, with the host team usually performing above average.[57] Of the eight countries that have won the tournament, only Brazil and Spain were not champions at home, and both England and France had their only titles as hosts.

Further, Sweden got to its only final as hosts of the 1958 tournament, and only the Swedes and Brazilians finished as runner-up in home soil.[58] The host country reached the semifinals thirteen times in twenty tournaments, and both Chile and South Korea had their only finishes on the top four at home. Only South Africa in 2010 managed to not go past the group stage.[59]

# Performance Team Pld W D L Win% GF GA GD GD/M GF/M
1 Champion  Uruguay (1930) 4 4 0 0 100 % 15 3 12 3 3.8
2 Champion  France (1998) 7 6 1 0 93 % 15 2 13 1.9 2.1
3 Champion  England (1966) 6 5 1 0 92 % 11 3 8 1.3 1.8
4 Champion  Italy (1934) 5 4 1 0 90 % 12 3 9 1.8 2.4
5 Champion  West Germany (1974) 7 6 0 1 86 % 13 4 9 1.3 1.9
6 Champion  Argentina (1978) 7 5 1 1 79 % 15 4 9 1.3 2.1
7 Runner-up  Brazil (1950) 6 4 1 1 75 % 22 6 16 2.7 3.7
8 Runner-up  Sweden (1958) 6 4 1 1 75 % 12 7 5 0.8 2
9 Third place  Italy (1990) 7 6 1 0 93 % 10 2 8 1.1 1.4
10 Third place  Germany (2006) 7 5 1 1 79 % 14 6 8 1.1 2
11 Third place  Chile (1962) 6 4 0 2 67 % 10 8 2 0.33 1.3
12 Fourth place  Brazil (2014) 7 3 2 2 57 % 11 14 −3 −0.4 1.57
13 Fourth place  South Korea (2002) 7 3 2 2 57 % 8 6 2 0.3 1.1
14 Quarter-final  Mexico (1986) 5 3 2 0 80 % 6 2 4 0.8 1.2
15 Quarter-final  Mexico (1970) 4 2 1 1 63 % 6 4 2 0.5 1.5
16 Quarter-final   Switzerland (1954) 4 2 0 2 50 % 11 11 0 0 2.8
17 Quarter-final  France (1938) 2 1 0 1 50 % 4 4 0 0 2
18 Second Round  Spain (1982) 5 1 2 2 40 % 4 5 −1 −0.2 0.8
19 Round of 16  Japan (2002) 4 2 1 1 63 % 5 3 2 0.5 1.25
20 Round of 16  United States (1994) 4 1 1 2 38 % 3 4 −1 −0.3 0.8
21 Group stage  South Africa (2010) 3 1 1 1 50 % 3 5 −2 −0.7 1
  • Win% → Every draw counted as a half win. Wins on penalty shootouts are counted as draws.


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