Ukraine join Spain and Portugal in joint bid for 2030 World Cup

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2026 FIFA World Cup
2026 FIFA World Cup Trophy on display before press conference at Rockefeller Plaza. Thursday, June 16, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Ukraine have joined a ‘European bid’, with the final decision regarding the hosts of the 2030 World Cup to be made in 2024.

Ukraine have joined Spain and Portugal in a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup, it was announced on Wednesday.

Spain and Portugal have already joined forces with an “Iberian bid” to host, but Ukraine has joined as the third host, with the bid now being referred to as the “European bid”.

Reports on Tuesday revealed Ukraine’s involvement and it was confirmed on Wednesday by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) at UEFA’s Swiss headquarters, with the European governing body backing the bid.

According to reports, the plan is for Ukraine to host one group in the 48-team tournament – ​​which will be the second with expanded teams after the 2026 World Cup in North America; hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Ukraine previously co-hosted the 2012 European Championship with Poland, while Portugal hosted the same tournament in 2004. Neither had hosted the World Cup before, but Spain did in 1982.

The European bid will compete with others for the rights to host the tournament in 2030, with a final decision due in 2024.

Currently, a South American proposal from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile has been submitted, while a joint bid from Greece, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is said to be in the works.

Another inter-federation bid could include Israel, a partnership with the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain, while Morocco could launch a joint bid with other North African nations that failed with previous tournament bids in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Australia could also be a possibility, with reports previously suggesting a joint proposal could be submitted with New Zealand or Indonesia.

The large number of joint bids appears to indicate that this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be the last tournament to be hosted by a single nation, with interest growing in many countries to host the tournament – particularly in terms of involving those who would they weren’t able to. organize a tournament individually.

Increasing the World Cup to 48 teams would also put additional pressure on individual nations to host the entire tournament with a total of 80 matches to be played – up from the 64 that will be played in Qatar.

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