South American football chief Alejandro Dominguez on Sunday urged FIFA to honor Pele and Diego Maradona by awarding hosting rights for the 2030 World Cup to the continent.
The joint South American proposal — which includes Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay — faces competition from a European bid involving Spain, Portugal and Ukraine as well as a collaboration between Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The question is for FIFA – what do they plan to do with the history created by Pele and later Maradona?” said Dominguez, the head of South American confederation CONMEBOL during an event in Doha.
The 2030 tournament will take place 100 years after Uruguay won the inaugural World Cup as hosts.
“It really should be back to the roots because football is not just about money. It should not be about the competition of who puts up the most money for a World Cup,” Dominguez said.
“It should also be about recognizing who made this party possible,” Dominguez added, referring to Pele and Maradona.
Pele, 82, is the only player to win the World Cup three times while Maradona led Argentina to the title in 1986. Both players shared the award for FIFA’s best player of the 20th century.