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Visualisation of the La Rosaleda project, which is still subject to change. SUR
Malaga CF's La Rosaleda stadium closes in on hosting World Cup 2030 matches
Football

Malaga CF's La Rosaleda stadium closes in on hosting World Cup 2030 matches

Eleven Spanish venues will host games during the biggest football tournament on the world stage, along with six from Morocco and three from Portugal

Antonio Góngora

Malaga

Friday, 28 June 2024, 19:19

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Malaga CF's La Rosaleda stadium is on the verge of being named as one of the Spanish venues for the 2030 World Cup, to be held across Spain, Portugal and Morocco, after a meeting held between the football federation and the higher council of sport.

The efforts made over the past few years are bearing fruit, and the stadium in Malaga will likely host matches in the group stage of the biggest football tournament on the world stage. The Malaga-based stadium along with Seville's La Cartuja would be the two representatives from Andalucía.

The rivalry among the potential Spanish stadiums has been intense from the outset. Once it was known that the joint Spanish bid would be unopposed for this World Cup, 15 contenders for 11 spots intensified their efforts to be chosen as venues. La Rosaleda has been in the running from the beginning with an ambitious plan that meets all the requirements to be among the best. As known, it will need to expand its capacity to 45,000 seats (FIFA requires 40,000 for fans). All other conditions are already fulfilled.

Favourites

The Malaga stadium was one of the favourites from the start of this process, while other venues had different drawbacks in the race. The first to fall out was El Molinón (Gijón) because it did not have the financial support, and according to sources consulted, La Condomina in Murcia also appears to be out of the running. Additionally, a decision will need to be made between the two Galician venues competing for a spot, Riazor (A Coruña) and Balaídos (Vigo), with the former more likely to be chosen.

The focus of eliminations is now centred on Mestalla. The football federation believes that Spain's third-largest city should be represented and wants it to be so. However, economic issues may prevent the project from progressing, potentially leaving Mestalla out of the running. If the Valencia stadium is not the fourth to be discarded, the Reale Arena in San Sebastián could be. However, the final decision has not yet been officially made, according to sources.

Thus, the 11 Spanish venues (joining six from Morocco and three from Portugal) are likely to be: the Santiago Bernabéu, Metropolitano, Camp Nou, Cornellá, San Mamés, La Romareda, La Cartuja, Gran Canaria, Riazor, the Reale Arena and La Rosaleda.

There is still a possibility that Mestalla could be chosen, while other variations are possible in the coming days or weeks before the final selection is made official.

What are the deadlines to officially announce the venues? There is no specific date yet, but the complete bid manual must be submitted to FIFA by 31 July. This document needs to be meticulously detailed and must include the 11 Spanish stadiums that will participate in the hosting of the World Cup. Therefore, the federation needs to select these venues well in advance. It is expected to be officially announced this week or next to allow around a month for the development of the comprehensive bid document.

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