Geographical Extremes in World Cup


The northernmost city to hold a World Cup Final is
  Stockholm (Sweden) - 5922'N
The northernmost city to hold a World Cup match is
  Sandviken (Sweden) - 6037'N

The southernmost city to hold a World Cup Final is
  Montevideo (Uruguay) - 3454'S
The southernmost city to hold a World Cup match is
  Mar del Plata (Argentina) - 3801'S

The westernmost city to hold a World Cup Final is
  Pasadena (Greater Los Angeles, USA) - 11808'W
The westernmost city to hold a World Cup match is
  Palo Alto (San Francisco Bay Area, USA)- 12210'W

The easternmost city to hold a World Cup Final is
  Yokohama (Greater Tokyo, Japan) - 13936'E
The easternmost city to hold a World Cup match is
  Sapporo (Japan) - 14125'E 

  The most likely direction of World Cup's further geographical expansion seems
  to be eastward and to a lesser degree southward. If Australia will win the
  hosting rights, the easternmost location for a World Cup Final will be most
  likely Sydney (15104'E), the city that hosted the 2000 Olympic Games. Brisbane 
  (15302'E) will become the easternmost location for a World Cup match. In the
  less likely event when the venue for the WC Final will be chosen Melbourne
  (3749'S, 14459'E), the city that hosted the 1956 Olympics, it will become
  both the southernmost and the easternmost location of the WC Final although not
  the extreme southern location for a WC match. Only if Tasmanian capital Hobart
  (4253'S) will be chosen as one of the WC venues (although rather unlikely),
  it will be the southernmost location of a WC match. 

  In the extremely unlikely event when New Zealand will be allowed to host some
  of the WC matches, it will provide further eastward and southward expansion
  of the locations to hold a World Cup match. In this case, Wellington (4117'S,
  17447'E) will be both the extreme southern and the extreme eastern location,
  with further possibilities of Christchurch (4332'S) / Dunedin (4552'S) in the
  south and Napier (17655'E) in the east. 

  Another southward expansion is theoretically possible if Argentina or Chile will
  win the hosting rights, but neither country seems to have proper stadiums south
  of Bahia Blanca (3845'S), the city doubtful in itself as a possible WC venue.

  A slight westward move is possible if Canada will win the hosting rights. In
  that case, Vancouver (12307'W) will definitely become the westernmost location
  for a WC match, although it's nearly impossible for it to become the venue for
  a WC Final. And of course, if USA will host another WC tournament, they can move
  the westernmost location farther west to Seattle (12219'W) or even Portland
  (12241'W) unless they decide to stage some WC matches in Anchorage, Alaska
  (14954'W) or Honolulu, Hawaii (15750'W); however, it is highly unlikely that 
  the Final venue will be chosen somewhere west of Los Angeles.  

  And lastly, the northward expansion seems to end in 1958 in Sweden. Neither
  Norway nor Finland look like possible candidates to host the World Cup, although
  Helsinki (6011'N) hosted the 1952 Olympic Games. Only if either country will
  co-host the WC tournament with Sweden (rather academic assumption), the World
  Cup may advance farther north to Tampere, Finland (6130'N) or Trondheim, Norway
  (6323'N). 

The northernmost city to hold a World Cup qualifying match is
  Reykjavik (Iceland) - 6409'N 
The southernmost city to hold a World Cup qualifying match is
  Christchurch (New Zealand) - 4332'S
The westernmost city to hold a World Cup qualifying match is
  Vancouver (Canada) - 12307'W 
  Nuku'alofa (Tonga) - 17512'W (*)
The easternmost city to hold a World Cup qualifying match is
  Suva (Fiji) - 17844'E
  Papeete (Tahiti) - 14934'W

  Note: the westernmost and the easternmost cities were determined both in a
        strictly geographical sense (i.e., the closest point to the 180 longitude)
        and a geopolitical sense (i.e., including Oceania in the eastern part of 
        the world).

  (*) According to the path of the International Date Line, Nuku'alofa would become
      the easternmost city while Apia (Samoa) located at 17150'W will become the
      westernmost city to hold a World Cup qualifying match.

  Other locations used in past by national teams for international matches:

The northernmost location:
  Bodo (Norway) - 6718'N / Uummannaq (Greenland) - 7041'N    
The southernmost location:
  Dunedin (New Zealand) - 4552'S / Stanley (Falkland Islands) - 5145'S 
The westernmost location:
  Victoria (Canada) - 12321'W 
  Mata-Utu (Wallis and Futuna Territory) - 17608'W
The easternmost location:
  Funafuti (Tuvalu) - 17913'E

  Note: Tuvalu is an associate member of OFC but not a FIFA member. Greenland is
        a full member of the NF-Board but is not affiliated to FIFA or any
        continental confederation. Falkland Islands and Wallis and Futuna Territory
        teams represent overseas dependencies. Because of their current status,
        these nations and territories are ineligible to enter the FIFA World Cup
        and their matches are not recognized as official.

  Finally, the following locations, although never used for international matches
  before, may extend the extreme points in future:

To the north:
  Tromso (Norway) - 6940'N / Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway) - 7813'N
To the south:
  Punta Arenas (Chile) - 5310'S / Ushuaia (Argentina) - 5448'S
To the west:
  Anchorage (USA) - 14954'W / Honolulu (USA) - 15750'W
To the east:
  Labasa (Fiji) - 17922'E
  Adamstown (Pitcairn Islands) - 13006'W

  World Cup locations closest to the equator in northern hemisphere. 

World Cup Final venue: Mexico City (Mexico) - 1918'N
World Cup match venue: Puebla (Mexico) - 1905'N
World Cup qualifying match venue: Kampala (Uganda) - 019'N 

  World Cup locations closest to the equator in southern hemisphere. 

World Cup Final venue: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - 2255'S
World Cup match venue: Recife (Brazil) - 806'S
World Cup qualifying match venue: Quito (Ecuador) - 015'S

  The 2014 WC is scheduled to take place in South America. If Brazil will receive
  hosting rights as expected, WC matches may be held as close to the equator as
  Belem (127'S). As for the Final match, unless held (in the unlikely event) in
  the federal capital Brasilia (1546'S), the venue won't be chosen north from Rio.
  And apart from Brazil, there is no other chance for World Cup to get closer to 
  the equator from the south  Peru, DR of Congo (Zaire), and Indonesia are unlikely
  candidates to host the World Cup any time soon.  

  If, however, the preference will be given to another strong candidate - Colombia,
  World Cup will get much closer to the equator from the northern direction. The
  Final match will be held either in Barranquilla (1056'N) where the official
  stadium of Colombian national team is located or the national capital Bogota
  (438'N), and the southernmost location of a WC match will be definitely Cali
  (324'N). Other than Colombia, theoretical possibilities may include Venezuela,
  Nigeria, South-East Asia, and perhaps India.

  As for the qualifying match venues, there are no national capitals located closer
  to the equator. So, unless matches will be held in places like Entebbe (former
  capital of Uganda) or Mbandaka (formerly known as Coquilhatville, DR of Congo/Zaire),
  both located at 004'N, Macapa (capital of the state of Amapa, Brazil) located at
  002'N, or Pontianak (capital of the province of West Kalimantan, Indonesia)
  located precisely on the equator (00'N), there will be no further movement. 

  World Cup locations closest to the Prime Meridian.

  Obviously, Wembley Stadium in London, England (017'W) is the closest World Cup
  Final venue. But amazingly, the closest World Cup match venue isn't in London or 
  even England for that matter - it's Le Havre, France (012'E) where one match of
  the 1938 WC was played. Next comes White City Stadium in London (013'W) which
  hosted one match in 1966. Arsenal Stadium (popularly known as Highbury) in London,
  located at 006'W, is the closest qualifying match venue.  

  World Cup locations closest from the east:
  Final venue  Paris, France (215'E),
  and qualifying match venue  Lome, Togo (113'E).

  World Cup locations closest from the west (other than in London):
  Final venue  Madrid, Spain (341'W), WC match venue  Valencia, Spain (022'W),
  and qualifying match venue  Accra, Ghana (012'W).

  There is one possibility for the World Cup Final venue to get even closer to
  the Prime Meridian on the eastern side - if Barcelona (Spain) located at 207'E,
  host city of the 1992 Olympic Games, will ever be chosen to hold a World Cup
  Final. And theoretically, two stadiums in London  White Hart Lane (the home
  ground of Tottenham Hotspur FC) located at 004'W and the Boleyn Ground
  (commonly known as Upton Park, the home ground of West Ham United FC) located
  at 002'E, may bring qualifying venues even closer to Greenwich Meridian.


About this document

Prepared and maintained by Andre Rosso for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Andre Rosso (rosso1492@yahoo.com)
Last updated: 31 Jan 2007

(C) Copyright Andre Rosso and RSSSF 2007
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.