Ukraine joins 2030 World Cup bid with Portugal and Spain
Image carried by the Times

Ukraine joins 2030 World Cup bid with Portugal and Spain

Ukraine’s involvement “likely to raise chances of a 2030 World Cup in Europe”

The UK’s Times broke the news last night – and all media sources have since agreed it is almost certain to raise the chances of the 2030 World Cup being held in Europe.

According to the Times, President Zelenskyy and the governments of Spain and Portugal are fully behind the new partnership which is expected to be announced during a news conference at European governing body UEFA’s headquarters tomorrow.

The proposal harnesses the idea that football can restore hope and peace. Although security assurances would be needed, the expectation is that by 2030 Russia’s invasion will have been over for some time and the rebuilding of the country will be fully under way.

“The involvement of Ukraine is regarded as a potentially powerful vote-winner among Fifa’s 211 member associations and a way of countering moves by Saudi Arabia to put forward a joint bid with Egypt and Greece for 2030”, says the paper.

“UEFA believes that the World Cup should be played exclusively in Europe in 2030. The tournament is being held in Qatar this year and in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026”.

The idea behind the partnership is that Ukraine would host one of the groups in the tournament.

There is no further information at this point, while there is acknowledgement that the Saudi Arabia/ Egypt/ Greece joint bid is nonetheless ‘formidable’, albeit it would mean the tournament would have to be played in winter again – not really as ‘traditional’ a moment as fans have come to expect.

Spain most recently hosted the World Cup in 1982, writes the Times. “Portugal and Ukraine have not organised the tournament before, but have hosted the European Championship finals in 2004 and 2012 respectively”.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com