FIFA World Cup Host Countries (Complete List)

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FIFA World Cup is the most popular event of the most popular game in the world. The World Cup is conducted every 4 years, except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II. A total of sixteen countries hosted the tournament since the first World Cup in 1930.

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Rotation between Europe and South America

In earlier days selecting the host for FIFA World Cup was very controversial process. Lack of air transport means players have to cross the Atlantic Ocean via ships to get to the host nation in Europe or South America. The first ever FIFA World Cup was held on 1930 in South American nation Uruguay. Due to travel issues, just 4 European nations participated in this tournament.

The next 2 Football World Cups were held at Europe which leads to the boycott of the 3rd World Cup by South American nations like Argentina and Uruguay who believed that the World Cup location will be rotated between South American and European countries. Since then FIFA began to rotate World Cup location between the two continents. FIFA followed this method until 2002 World Cup when Japan and South Korea were selected as host nations.

Implementation of Exhaustive Ballot

FIFA adopted an exhaustive ballot voting system for FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022. Under exhaustive ballot voting process if no bidder gets the clear majority in the first round the bidding country with least amount of bids will be eliminated and rest of the bidding nations will go to next round until a clear majority is achieved by a bidder.

The executive committee met on 2010 to vote. For 2018 tournament Russia received 13 votes to win the bid after 2 rounds. Qatar won the bid for 2022 tournament after 4 rounds of voting. There are allegations of bribery but selected host nations are finalized.

For 2026 Football World Cup all member nations of FIFA will vote to select the host nation. The United bid from the USA, Canada, and Mexico won the rights to host FIFA World Cup 2026 with 134 votes against Morocco’s 65 votes.

List FIFA World Cup Host Countries

Check out the table below for World Cup bidders, hosts, host country’s continent, and the World Cup winner of that year’s World Cup. The bidder column contains countries that announced their bids including those who withdraw their bids later.

List of FIFA World Cup Hosts

#YearBiddersHostContinentWinner
11930Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UruguayUruguaySouth AmericaUruguay
21934Italy, SwedenItalyEuropeItaly
31938Argentina, France, GermanyFranceEuropeItaly
41950BrazilBrazilSouth AmericaUruguay
51954SwitzerlandSwitzerlandEuropeWest Germany
61958SwedenSwedenEuropeBrazil
71962Argentina, Chile, West GermanyChileSouth AmericaBrazil
81966England, West Germany, SpainEnglandEuropeEngland
91970Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, PeruMexicoNorth AmericaBrazil
101974West Germany, Spain, Italy, NetherlandsWest GermanyEuropeWest Germany
111978Argentina, Colombia, MexicoArgentinaSouth AmericaArgentina
121982Spain, West Germany, ItalySpainEuropeItaly
131986Canada, Mexico, United StatesMexicoNorth AmericaArgentina
141990Austria, England, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Soviet Union, West Germany, YugoslaviaItalyEuropeWest Germany
151994Brazil, Morocco, United States, ChileUnited StatesNorth AmericaBrazil
161998England, France, Germany, Morocco, SwitzerlandFranceEuropeFrance
172002South Korea/ Japan, MexicoSouth Korea / JapanAsiaBrazil
182006Brazil, England, Germany, Morocco, South AfricaGermanyEuropeItaly
192010Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia / LibyaSouth AfricaAfricaSpain
202014Argentina, Brazil, ColombiaBrazilSouth AmericaGermany
212018Belgium / Netherlands, England, Spain / Portugal, RussiaRussiaEuropeFrance
222022Australia, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, United StatesQatarAsia
222026Canada / USA / Mexico, MoroccoCanada / USA / MexicoNorth America

Interesting Facts about FIFA World Cup Hosts

  • Only one country bid for FIFA World Cup 1950, 1954, and 1958 (Brazil, Switzerland, and Sweden respectively).
  • A total of 8 countries announced their bids for 1990 World Cup tournament making it the maximum number of bids announced. In the end, 6 countries withdrew their bid and Italy won the bid beating the Soviet Union.
  • In 1974, Colombia is selected to host 1986 World Cup since it is the only bidder. But in 1982, the country withdrew and FIFA called for new bids. Mexico, Canada, and the USA announced their bid.
  • Mexico ultimately won by unanimous vote which was the first time in World Cup bidding history.
  • FIFA World Cup 2002 host nations Japan / Korea are the first non-European and non-South American countries to host the tournament and this also the first time World Cup was co-hosted by two nation.
  • FIFA World Cup 2026 will be the first time in history more than countries co-hosting the tournament.

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