President Mauricio Macri met with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez today in Colonia to “relaunch” bilateral relations, which were not at their best during former Presidents Cristina and Néstor Kirchner’s mandate. And what better way for the neighboring countries to cozy up to each other than by expressing their mutual love for football.
In a press conference, the heads of state announced they will bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup. That way, they can let FIFA bankrupt them together! Yay solidarity.
And there’s history here: the 2030 Cup will mark the 100th anniversary of the first ever World Cup, which was held in Uruguay in 1930 and saw the host nation beat Argentina 4-2 in the final.
Macri and Vázquez, the former presidents of football clubs Boca Juniors and Progreso, respectively, also tackled non-football-related subjects (though really, that’s all we cared about).
“The idea is to turn the page, improve relations with Uruguay and differentiate ourselves from Kirchnerism,” a government official told press.
During the press conference, the heads of state said they intend on outlining a project to have Argentina buy gas from Uruguay as well as build a laboratory to “work together in the field of environmental monitoring.”
Argentina-Uruguayan relations took a turn for the worse during the Botnia pulp mill controversy, which saw Argentina accuse Uruguay of polluting the Uruguay River bordering both countries due to the facilities’ operations. (Pulp mills are manufacturing facilities that convert plant fibre sources into thick fibre boards that can then be manufactured into paper, fyi.) The case made its way to the Hague’s International Court of Justice and was finally settled in 2010.