The Spain and Portugal football federations have confirmed that Ukraine has been incorporated into their bid to host the 2030 World Cup, in an agreement with the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF).
Announced at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland, they state the decision has been backed by the governments of all three nations as well as UEFA – European football’s governing body.
Luis Rubiales, who serves as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) spoke on the decision, via Reuters: “Our bid is not an Iberian bid anymore, it’s a European bid.
“I’m convinced that now our bid is much better than before. Football is universal and if it is capable of changing the life of people in so many ways it should also be used for doing good,” he added.
Per a statement on the RFEF’s official website, the bid aims to ‘build bridges and project a message of unity, solidarity and generosity from all of European football’, with work now underway from the Coordinating Commission to further integrate Ukraine into the bid.
The statement further reads: “The candidacy strengthens ties with Europe by generating hope and providing reconstruction tools to the Ukrainian people, who have expressed their pride and gratitude for participating in this project.”
Spain still intends to provide 11 venues for the tournament, while Portugal expect to continue with providing their three. The hope is that Ukraine will be able to host and contribute to the tournament by 2030, amid the ongoing war in the country following the Russian invasion.