World Cup 2030: The bitter surprise | Opinion

The cartoons of Condorito, the most famous Chilean cartoon in Latin America, used to end with a “Plop”, an expression used when something happened that disconcerted the characters. Something similar happened in the Government of Gabriel Boric when the president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) tweeted that the 2030 men’s World Cup will start “where it all began, in South America”, accompanied by a video where it was announced that Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will host the inaugural matches of the sports festival, a decision by FIFA. Chile—part of the Todos Juntos 2030 Corporation, which was preparing a joint application with the other three countries—had been marginalized. The official candidacy was awarded to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The presidential candidate and leader of the Republican Party, José Antonio Kast, did not take long to write in X: “There is no World Cup in Chile in 2030. This Government is not doing anything right”. The news lit up the networks and outraged politicians, journalists and sports fans. Boric ruled out any responsibility of his Administration in the decision and a video by Sebastián Piñera immediately began to circulate on the platform in 2019 in which he communicated that he had proposed Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay incorporate Chile in the application to organize the 2030 World Cup. “This proposal was accepted by the three countries and also by the Chilean ANFP (National Professional Football Association). After the 1962 World Cup, Chile will have a new opportunity,” said Piñera.

In the midst of the confusion, Boric questioned FIFA and defended that the country had complied with all the steps to raise the application. “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 trifling with national integrity and the name of Chile,” he said. The Government spokesperson described the decision as a “bitter surprise”, which “means bad news for the Government and for the country”. She also assured that they were waiting for the application process to open in the first half of next year. “And here there was, obviously, a change in the application format. We raise the candidacy. We have been preparing for more than a year,” she added.

Eyes focused on Pablo Milad, president of the Chilean Football Federation, who made a presentation of the South American candidacy under the title “Together 2030.” The headquarters of the candidacy was in Santiago and the corporation was created with Chilean standards of probity. After meeting the hosts of the World Cup, Milad reported that FIFA and Conmebol told him the reasons why the three South American countries had won to host a match. “The exclusion criteria are questionable, but they told me the following: Uruguay for hosting the first World Cup in 1930, Argentina for being the World Champion and Paraguay for hosting Conmebol. Within those criteria we feel very hurt by this situation.” Jorge Aguilar, vice president of the ANFP, resigned from his position, and there are those who ask that Milad do the same.

Chile, which is preparing to host the Pan American and Parapan American Games between October 20 and November 5, intended that the organization of this competition would serve to promote the candidacy for the 2030 World Cup together with its neighbors. This was said by the Minister of Sports, who will now have to go to Congress to explain why the country was left out of the great men’s soccer event.

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