October 8 – On the day they played each other in an Iberian friendly, Spain and Portugal announced Wednesday they were pushing ahead with a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
The two neighbours ratified an agreement “to promote the joint candidacy for the organization of the World Cup in 2030, establishing strategies for the international projection of both federations and countries”, the Spanish federation (RFEF) said in a statement.
“This agreement means an important step for this common project of federations, but also for the countries. Soccer, sport, is a magnificent tool to inject strength and will to overcome in these moments of great difficulty,” said RFEF president Luis Rubiales.
“Few things can be more exciting than the opportunity to organise a World Cup and we cannot think of a better partner than Portugal. We go hand in hand with the Portuguese Federation,” added Rubiales.
Hosting rights for 2030 will be chosen in two years’ time by FIFA. England has long indicated an interest in staging the event along with the rest of the UK plus the Republic of Ireland while Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia have also signalled their intent to bid.
A four-way South American bid from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile is also in the running and could emerge as favourite since 2030 will be the centenary of the first World Cup, held in Uruguay.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has made he clear he favours one sole bid from the continent which makes the three prospective European bids all the more intriguing.
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