And as always, Granada were late for the World Cup

And as always, Granada were late for the World Cup

Grenade it will not be one of the Spanish cities that hosts matches of the soccer world cup 2030 to which Spain aspires in a joint bid with Portugal. This has been known since mid-July, when the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the central government held a meeting in Las Rozas (Madrid) with representatives of the autonomous communities, city councils and clubs who had expressed their interest in being part of the big footballing event in eight years, and in which the fifteen pre-selected sub-sites were announced. And as was the case during the 1982 World Cup, the capital of the Alhambra and the Los Carmenes Stadium They were kicked out of the meeting.

Spain and Portugal Fifteen cities and eighteen stadiums have been selected, including four which will “fall” from the final selection according to the format of the championship, the extension of which is unknown, since it aims to go from 32 to 48 national teams. In any case, in a wider World Cup, Granada would not have its place and will not be present. The Government and the Federation have selected, based on the interest shown by public institutions or clubs, the towns of Madrid (Santiago Bernabéu and Metropolitano stadiums), Barcelona (with two other steps), Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Gijón, Zaragoza, La Coruña, Vigo, Murcia, Las Palmas de Gran Canariaand in Andalusia, Seville (with La Cartuja) and Malaga. Portugal sets up two stadiums Lisbon and one in Port.

The key meeting last July showed that Grenada did not have the possibility of hosting. He has shown no interest in making Los Cármenes the venue for a major national team football event, the only major event left to host the capital in major team sports, which could also have serve to justify an expansion and modernization of the Zaidin stadium. Already during the meeting held at the headquarters of the RFEF “the fish was sold”. Representatives of the Andalusian government were present, presenting Seville and Malaga as candidates, who were present with high and intermediate positions from their respective municipal councils, as well as provincial deputies and, in the case of Malaga, the judicial administrator of the club of the city.

Doubts remain as to the reason Grenade was not among candidates. Whether it is municipal negligence, whether the candidacy was presented but rejected, whether the Council chose the two candidate cities, or whether the Federation itself proposed. We only know, according to information that appeared in various media, that there was a deadline for the submission of applications because the vigo registered after the deadline but, despite everything, accepted by the RFEF.

Spain World Cup 1982

It’s not the first time this has happened in Granada. In fact, he was already excluded from the only World Cup organized to date by Spain, the year 1982. And this for literally being late. In 1976, the RFEF sent out circulars so that cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants and which had teams in the first or second division could apply. Nobody answered. Additionally, the city set up a commission to apply to be one of the World Cup cities in 1978, a year and a half after other venues like Malaga created them. But what is more, only two months after the creation of this commission, the organizing committee of the 1982 World Cup rejected the candidacy of Grenade Yes The Carmens for submitting it after the deadline. And it is that the selection of stadiums was made in September 1977: a year before.

This story was a bit weird. The first time, it was speculated that the city could host matches of the world cup 82 it was four years before the appointment. The Fifa had not yet decided on the expansion of the World Cup from 16 to 24 teams in this case, and Spain did not know how many sites they were going to need. The one who was president of the RFEF, Paul Port, mentioned Granada in a list of candidates along with Alicante and Malaga during a visit to the city on the Costa del Sol. Either by throwing balls or not, or by the proximity of a friendly match that Spain would play two months later against Mexico in Los Cármenes the town began to ring.

The bath of masses that the Selection took place, which at that time was preparing the 1978 World Cup, in Granada harbored the hope of being chosen as the venue. But we had to hurry because time was running out and the city had to build a new stadium. The discussions were moved and Granada CF entered the scene, practically inviting the institutions to take advantage of the funding opportunity offered by the government to build a new stadium in Los Cármenes. In addition, the use in the general plan of the old plot of the soccer field had recently been modified, which was classified as a green zone in addition to designing a new avenue that extended Doctor Olóriz to the north. The state was paying in real terms between 33 and 40% of the work on the new stadium and the rest would be put up by the club and the city with the capital gains made on the sale of the land before the new plan came into effect. and devalued.

There were those who believed there was more time to apply, so in mid-1978 Granada rushed to a door that was closed. The only hope was that one of the selected cities, Santander, finally fell out of the selected places and finally no one replaced him. Spain modernized a large part of its stadiums and Granada was left without a World Cup and without a new stadium (although the process continued and two years later a model was presented with a 22 pitch 000 spaces to be built on the land where the ruins of the Granada Sports City 92behind the Alcampo shopping center).

Eurocopa Spain 2004

But Granada paid attention in the late 1990s when they moved quickly to ‘remove’ Malaga from their place in the Euro 2004. The Town Hall proposed and the Federation ended up including the city among the thirteen selected to host the matches of this European Cup of Nations. One of its great advantages was that the New Los Cármenes was almost recently opened and the possibility of extending it to the 30,000 places that UEFA needed at the time was still on the table. Moreover, the city’s organizational capacity after hosting the Sierra Nevada World Ski Championships in 1996 was still fresh in our memories. In addition, UEFA itself had honored Granada with the celebration of the 1999 European Futsal Championship at the Palacio de Deportes.

The European body itself sent Granada an inspection which examined the stadium and the city’s hotel capacity to give it the green light before it was included in the final dossier, which happened in January 1999 . New stadium of Los Cármenes it would be expanded by closing the corners, lowering the playing field to make room for three additional rows of seats, and the Preference Stand would also be expanded to build a new stand with an additional 2,000 seats. It would also invest in new press boxes and in the field. In total, between 800 and 1,000 million old pesetas.

But politics came into play. On Tuesday, October 12, Columbus Day, UEFA chose the venue for Euro 2004 during an executive committee meeting in the German city of Aachen. . Spain were the big favorites ahead of Portugal and the joint bid of Austria-Hungary. But around four o’clock in the afternoon came the great disappointment when Lennart Johansson, president of UEFA, read the name of Portugal. The number of votes was never officially known, but the institution justified its election in order to “modernize” Portuguese infrastructure and stadiums, admitting that Spain had a better poster, but appealing to a supposed spirit of “solidarity” during the election.

What was left without modernization was Los Cármenes. And Granada loses the opportunity to host a great tournament of football teams. At least that compensates for basketball, present in the Eurobasket 2007 and World Cup 2014where it also hosted national team matches.

It wasn’t in the 2018 World Cup candidacy either.

Spain was also able to organize the last World Cup disputed in 2018 in Russia, attributed not without controversy to the Russian country while the 2022 event went to Qatar. The RFEF also presented a joint bid with Portugal in which Granada was also not present, apart from a much wider selection than the current one of candidate cities to be sub-hosts of the World Cup, the Iberian attempt was never retained. The opportunity now for the 2030 nomination is the best FIFA has on the table so far. The continental rotation is in favor of Spain and Portugal, and considering that the 2026 World Cup is taking place in Canada, the United States and Mexico, the event could not return to America. And this factor is key since the great rival of the Iberian candidacy is that made up of the countries of the southern cone of South America by Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. His best letter of introduction is that in 2030 will be celebrated the centenary of the celebration of the first Football World Cup, which took place in Uruguay. There is also a joint bid from Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia which does not have the support of UEFA (like the Iberian bid) and a person from Morocco, who could enter the Spanish and Portuguese team.

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