Spain, Portugal and Ukraine will go hand in hand to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
The news, advanced on Monday by
newspaper and confirmed by this newspaper, became official this Wednesday with an act at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with the presidents of the federations of the three countries.
Luis Rubiales from Spain, Fernando Gomes from Portugal, and Andriy Pavelko from Ukraine, have staged the alliance.
"Today the candidacy is not Iberian, it is European," said Rubiales.
Despite the fact that Ukraine is currently under Russian offensive, the leaders are confident that by 2030 the conflict will be over with the victory of kyiv.
"Eight years remain, we are convinced that the mechanisms to achieve peace will have been found," said Gomes.
This movement, as the leaders have explained, responds to the need of the world of football not to look the other way in the face of what is happening in Ukraine.
“Our governments consider, as we do, that the transforming power of football in society is very high”, explained Luis Rubiales.
“This candidacy has a tremendous symbology because football helps to have hope.
We see how friends and families welcome tens of thousands of exiles and I am convinced that these families will grow in the coming years remembering this historic moment for them and will continue day by day with the hope, which is a precious word, that Someday that moment of peace will come.”
For Gomes, the inclusion of Ukraine is a logical decision.
“Ukraine cannot disappear from our memories when the war is over,
But beyond the support for the Ukrainian people, this decision has an additional component that, according to the presidents, will give the final impetus to the project.
“This candidacy is much better.
All governments and all football people are going to support it," said Rubiales.
Gomes, for his part, acknowledged that the proposal was already quite strong with two countries with as much football tradition as Spain and Portugal, but now with Ukraine it becomes "invincible".
It has not been specified how many venues are proposed for Ukraine or which matches they will host.
“The institutional headquarters is Madrid and the administrative one, Lisbon.
Now, the Ukrainian delegation is going to join in order to work, but it is a very initial moment.
What we wanted was to make the candidacy known and the rest will be revealed in the coming months,” said Rubiales.
What has been confirmed is that Spain will maintain its eleven venues and Portugal will continue with three.
❝I am convinced that the whole of Spanish society will be proud of the important legacy that this candidacy leaves for
history❞ — 𝗟𝘂𝗶𝘀 𝗥𝘂𝗯𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀, President of the RFEF.#Vamos.twitter.com/Vamos2030 pic.twitter.com
– RFEF (@rfef) October 5, 2022
Despite the optimism of the three federations, the candidacy poses two problems that are not minor.
The first, the long distances between the Iberian Peninsula and Ukraine, to which the president of the Portuguese federation replied: "We have just experienced a European Championship that has been played from London to Baku".
The second, and more worrying, is the security during the tournament in a country that is currently at war, with several of the largest stadiums in territory controlled by Russian forces.
In this case it was the Ukrainian leader who spoke.
"Security will be the starting point of everything," Pavelko said.
"The Kyiv stadium is still used, but we hope that the Donetsk stadium can also be used."
Shakhtar's camp is located in the Donbas area, annexed by Russia,
Ukraine already hosted a major international event a few years ago.
It was at Euro 2012, together with Poland.
Spain was proclaimed champion of the tournament by beating Italy with an exhibition in the final (4-0) at the Olympic Stadium in kyiv.
FIFA has not yet published the conditions for the applicants or when the final decision will be made, but at the moment, the European candidacy is the one that has the most advanced application and with the inclusion of Ukraine, it hopes to give it the final push.
The World Cup bid is also a boost for Ukraine's dream of becoming a member state of the European Union, said Andriy Pavelko.
Last June, the country received recognition as a candidate for accession to the EU.
"Holding the World Cup together with Spain and Portugal will be a bright symbol of Ukraine's integration into the EU," Pavelko noted on his social media.
The president of the UAF assured that the candidacy "will emphasize" the Ukrainian territorial integrity, that is, it will emphasize that the regions occupied by Russia are part of Ukraine.
Pavelko wanted to provide the materialization of the candidacy to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because with his defense action they have allowed football competitions to resume this summer.
The soccer league is taking place in four cities and in games behind closed doors with extraordinary security measures in case of alarm for a possible air attack.
One of the key factors that has closed this alliance has been the joint work of the governments of the three countries.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, have celebrated the three-way candidacy with a joint message on social networks, released shortly after the football federations of Spain, Portugal and Ukraine confirmed in a conference press releases that would join forces for the 2030 event. “We have already demonstrated our ability to organize top-level events.
Spain and Portugal are prepared to host, together with Ukraine, the 2030 World Cup. We want a championship for peace, to show the best of sport, but also the best values of Europe”, they say in their tweets, published in Spanish and Portuguese.
We have already proven our ability to host top-tier events.
Spain and Portugal are prepared to host, together with Ukraine, the World Cup in 2030.
A championship for peace.
The best of sport and the best values in Europe.
– Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) October 5, 2022
We have already demonstrated the capacity to organize first-line events.
Portugal and Spain are ready to receive, together with Ukraine, the 2030 World Cup. We want a championship for peace, to show the best sport, but also the best values of Europe.
– António Costa (@antoniocostapm) October 5, 2022
The tripartite candidacy also has the support of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who told EL PAÍS that the proposal to include Ukraine in the Iberian candidacy for the 2030 World Cup "denotes a praiseworthy gesture of solidarity with this country martyred by an illegal and unjust war and occupation”.
In his response, the Portuguese Head of State indicated that he had had "informal knowledge" of the triple candidacy through the Portuguese Football Federation.
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