Ukraine is reportedly set to launch a joint bid with Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup.
The move has been sanctioned by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky which would see the war-torn nation host one of the tournament’s groups.
According to The Times, the bid is set to be announced by Spain and Portugal‘s football authorities at UEFA’s headquarters yesterday.
With the expectation that the war in Ukraine will be over in eight years’ time, a symbolic bid to promote hope and peace in the country appears to be the three nations’ strategy to try and win a majority vote among FIFA’s 211 member associations.
However, the joint bid could face tough opposition should a joint bid between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece be made official.
In South America, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile are expected to launch a joint bid to commemorate the centenary of the first World Cup played in Uruguay in 1930.
The World Cup was last played in Europe in 2018 when Russia hosted the tournament.
This year’s edition takes place in Qatar while the USA, Canada and Mexico will host football’s most prestigious competition in 2026.
Another World Cup hosting matches in the Middle East would likely mean another winter edition of the tournament which would be opposed by European leagues. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has not officially backed any bid.
Spain last hosted the World Cup in 1982. Portugal and Ukraine have both hosted European Championships in 2004 and 2012 respectively, but never a World Cup.
The UK and Ireland abandoned their plan to make a 2030 World Cup bid earlier this year and will instead focus on trying to host Euro 2028. – Eurosport