ANKARA – Portugal and Spain included war-torn Ukraine on Wednesday in the bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
"FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) and RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) incorporated Ukraine to join the bid for the 2030 World Cup. The two associations communicated their intention to UEFA, which immediately expressed its full support," said a press release from their meeting.
The terms of Ukraine’s role in the bid "will be discussed and defined in due course,” it said.
"The example of perseverance and resilience of the Ukrainian people is inspiring, so this initiative is aimed at making a contribution to the recovery of the country during the reconstruction period thanks to the power of football," it said.
Russia's war against Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
"We trust that the global football family will embrace and support this initiative. Welcome Ukraine, to the 2030 World Cup bid!" the press release added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter the three-way bid is "more than a symbol of faith in our joint victory."
"Ukraine will endure, prevail & be rebuilt thanks to the solidarity of its partners. Grateful for the support (from) Spain & Portugal," Zelenskyy tweeted.
Spain hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but Portugal and Ukraine have never hosted it.
Portugal was the EURO 2004 host, Ukraine was a co-host of EURO 2012 with Poland, and Spain hosted EURO 1964.
In August, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile submitted their joint bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia were in talks to co-host the tournament as well.
The 2026 World Cup has been awarded to Canada, Mexico and the United States. (Anadolu)