Boric enters the debate for the 2030 World Cup: “You don’t play with the name of Chile”

Gabriel Boric
Gabriel Boric in Santiago, on August 16.Elvis González (EFE)

The Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, announced this Wednesday night that his Government will take action following FIFA’s decision to “exclude” Chile from the organization of the 2030 Men’s World Cup, which, as announced on the day, will be It will take place in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, but will have three opening matches in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. He did so in a statement to the press in the Coquimbo region, in the north of Chile, where the president ruled out any responsibility of his Government in a decision that has generated anger in Chilean society and that has unleashed criticism from the leader of the Republican Party of the extreme right, José Antonio Kast.

“There is no World Cup in Chile in 2030. This Government does nothing right,” Kast wrote on the social network X, formerly Twitter, after which the controversy quickly escalated to the political arena.

For Boric, “this is not a decision in which the Government has committed any type of negligence.” “It is FIFA’s own decision. I discussed it with the presidents of Argentina and Paraguay and they found out when this communication was made public. They were not aware of this before,” said the Chilean, confirming the information disclosed on the day, about his calls to Alberto Fernández and Santiago Peña, his South American counterparts.

Boric questioned FIFA: “We complied with absolutely everything that corresponded,” in reference to the application along with Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to be part of the organization of the 2030 World Cup, in which Chile was working intensely. “I regret that there are institutions that operate in an unserious and surprising manner and, of course, we are going to assert all the rights that correspond to Chile, because there is no play with national integrity and the name of Chile,” said the president. leftist.

The drop in Chile’s nomination occurred this Wednesday without prior notice or notification, despite the fact that the candidacy was an objective of both the Boric Government and his predecessor, Sebastián Piñera, who in February 2019 announced: “A few months ago I proposed to the presidents of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to incorporate Chile and together apply for the organization of the 2030 Soccer World Cup. This proposal was accepted by the three countries and also by the Chilean ANFP. After the ’62 World Cup, Chile will have a new opportunity.”

The sports writer Aldo Schiappacasse wrote this Wednesday in EL PAÍS that “the painful news caught off guard leaders and officials who had worked on the joint application, which was suddenly going to waste.” All countries win, as does FIFA, but unsuspecting Chile loses, Schiappacasse said. “Chile loses, and the first rumors after the blow of being betrayed by one’s peers speak of two determining factors: the crusade against the powerful betting houses undertaken by the justice system and the Government’s intention to modify the laws that govern football, seeking to make the ownership of the clubs transparent and supervise. No reason seems very plausible.”

Boric was not the only one who spoke about the matter. La Moneda spokesperson Camila Vallejo described FIFA’s determination as “a very bitter surprise” in an interview on the Mega television channel this Wednesday night. The minister assured: “It is bad news for our country, for our Government and for the people who had the joint dream of South America hosting a World Cup, because this application, which was agreed upon between four countries and which reached the formation of the Juntos 2030 Corporation, had the idea that South America would be the headquarters in 2030. “And that, unfortunately, is not going to be possible today,” Vallejo continued in reference to a corporation that sought to promote the South American candidacy and which the Boric Government has financed through the Ministry of Sports.

The minister spoke about a change in the rules of the game in the application process: “We understand the autonomy of FIFA, its statute, its procedures, but the truth is that we raised a candidacy and were waiting for the application process to open. which was for the first half of next year. And here there was, obviously, a change in the application format. That is a reality. We raise the candidacy. We have been preparing for more than a year,” said Vallejo.

The president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), Alejandro Domínguez, explained why Chile was left out. “Originally there was talk of two countries that were Uruguay and Argentina. Then the World Cup was expanded from 32 to 48 teams and in that context Paraguay was added and then Chile was added. It is true that on this occasion Chile is not there, which does not mean that we are not going to work so that Chile is either there or we find something of this stature for it. It is a decision that is made by FIFA, not us. They are the ones who determine how and what. This is the moment when we have to start working at the venues,” said Domínguez regarding the hard blow to Chilean soccer and the fans.

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