Ukraine has joined Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) said on Wednesday. ).
“It is no longer the Iberian candidacy, now it is the European candidacy,” said Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF, at a press conference at the Swiss headquarters of UEFA, the governing body of European football.
“We believe that this candidacy is much better. If football is capable of changing people’s lives, it must also be capable of improving the world”, added Rubiales.
Fernando Soares Gomes da Silva, director of the FPF, stated that UEFA “fully supports” the decision to include Ukraine.
Spain, Portugal and Ukraine’s bid for the 2030 tournament will compete with other bids such as a collaboration between Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and a joint South American bid from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.
Last week marked seven months since Russian forces crossed Ukraine’s borders in the largest military invasion of Europe since World War II. Moscow calls its action a “special military operation”, while kyiv and its Western allies say it is an illegal land grab.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, millions have fled and cities and towns have been reduced to rubble.
In a statement published on Wednesday, the RFEF said that “the candidacy (from Spain, Portugal and Ukraine) strengthens ties with Europe, generating hope and providing reconstruction tools to the Ukrainian people, who have expressed their pride and gratitude for participating in this Project”.
The 2022 World Cup will kick off on November 20 in Qatar, while the 2026 tournament will be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico.