Half of British football fans oppose hosting the 2030 World Cup across six countries
October 17th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Half of British football fans oppose hosting the 2030 World Cup across six countries

FIFA recently confirmed that the men’s 2030 World Cup will be held across six countries: with Spain, Portugal, and Morocco acting as the main co-hosts of the tournament, and Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay hosting the opening three games. While the decision is meant to celebrate the centenary of the biggest event in international football – as the 1930 World Cup was entirely held in Montevideo – it has attracted backlash from prominent figures such as England manager Gareth Southgate, who described it as a “disjointed” idea that would compromise the integrity of the competition.

But what do football fans think? New YouGov polling can reveal that half (52%) oppose holding the World Cup across six countries, while just a fifth (20%) say they support the decision. A quarter (26%) say it makes no difference to them either way.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is also set to be held across multiple nations, with the United States, Mexico, and Canada sharing responsibility for the tournament. Fans are more receptive to this arrangement: 31% support it, another 31% think it makes no difference either way, and 36% are opposed.

Some commentators have suggested that the expanded roster of teams playing in the upcoming tournaments – rising from 32 to 48 for the 2026 World Cup, with the total number of matches jumping from 64 to 104 – would make it difficult for individual countries to host an entire World Cup. Nevertheless, most football fans prefer hosting the World Cup in a single country (63%) over hosting it across multiple countries (11%).

FIFA has also indicated that only bids from Asia or Oceania would be considered for the 2034 men’s World Cup – which made a bid from Saudi Arabia the reported frontrunner to host the contest.

Most British football fans are opposed to Saudi Arabia being allowed to host the tournament. Nearly two-thirds say the country – whose crown prince recently declared his intention to “continue doing sport washing” - should not be allowed to host the 2034 World Cup, while just a fifth (22%) say it should be permitted to host the tournament.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 11-12 October 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2236 adults (aged 18+ years) in Great Britain, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and social grade to be representative all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older), and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.