A new candidate has emerged in the bid process to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup: Spain has announced that it will add Ukraine to its joint venture with Portugal.
In a released statement, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (REFF) has confirmed that it will expand its partnership with the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) for the World Cup to include the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF).
Spanish football authorities said the addition of Ukraine would not change the existing bidding roadmap, with Spain planning to host 11 stadiums and Portugal three.
REFF said in a statement: «The candidacy strengthens ties with Europe, inspiring hope and providing tools for recovery to the Ukrainian people, who have expressed their pride and gratitude for participating in this project.»
REFF and FPF Presidents Luis Rubiales and Fernando Gomes expressed their willingness to work with UAF President Andriy Pavelko to build bridges and spread the message of unity, solidarity and generosity.
Rubiapes said, that: «It is no longer the Iberian Bid, now it is the European Bid. Each one of us represents our countries separately, but together we represent the transformative power that football has on society.»
He continued: «I am convinced that in my country, in Spain, both the football family and society will be proud of the important legacy that this candidacy leaves behind for history. If football changes people’s lives, it must also be capable of improving the world.»
Gomes added: «This candidacy has many things to win: history, wonderful stadiums, gastronomy, tourism. Today we take another step: together we represent the power of transformation that football has in society. We believe that this candidacy, now, is much better.»
The REFF claims that the joint bid with the FPF and the UAF is backed by UEFA and sanctioned by the monarchy and the government of the Spanish head of state.
The federation added that the Applications Coordinating Committee, chaired by Antonio Laranjo, is working with the Ukrainian authorities to include a representative from the federation.
This new bid comes shortly after media speculation last month that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece were also preparing a joint bid to host the 2030 tournament, which, if successful, would be the first Intercontinental World Cup in history.
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