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Argentina, Uruguay want to co-host 2030 World Cup

Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri embrace each other during a joint news conference after their meeting at the Uruguayan Presidential ranch of Anchorena near Colonia City, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Argentine Presidency/Handout via Reuters

COLONIA, Uruguay (Reuters) - Argentina and neighboring Uruguay will bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said at a joint news conference on Thursday with Uruguayan leader Tabare Vazquez.

“We have decided that our best opportunity is to jointly nominate ourselves as candidates,” Macri said during a visit to Colonia, Uruguay.

Uruguay hosted and won the first World Cup in 1930, beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.

The two countries, who have each won the World Cup twice, have on various occasions over the past few years expressed a wish at both soccer Association and government level to stage the centennial tournament.

The next two tournaments have already been allocated to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. The official bidding process for 2026 has yet to begin.

Uruguay were awarded the first World Cup in 1930 after winning consecutive Olympic soccer gold medals in 1924 and 1928. They also won the World Cup in 1950, upsetting hosts Brazil in the deciding match.

Argentina staged and won the tournament in 1978 and eight years later Diego Maradona led them to their second title in Mexico.

Reporting by Matias Larramendi; Writing by Hugh Bronstein/Rex Gowar, editing by Justin Palmer